Make Your Own: Fun Putty


Fun putty is easy to make and a blast to play with…so why not make a batch and have a great time exploring science!

To make fun putty, you will need:
Glue, liquid starch, craft stick, plastic zip-top bag, 3oz cup, or a plate, food coloring is optional
The basic recipe is…

1 part glue
1 part liquid laundry starch
How the putty can be made…
Quick and Easy Version…
Pour 1 T of glue and a few drops of food coloring into a cup, or on a plate, then add 1 T of starch and mix together with a craft stick until a firm ball is formed.
Pick up the putty, squish it until it tightens up a bit, and let the fun begin!

If the putty is too gooey, add more starch. If it’s tight, try adding more glue.
Experiment until you get the consistency you like.

Store in a zip-top bag and refrigerate.
Tip: You can mix the putty in a zip-top bag as well.
Try this Glow-in-the-dark version too!
Discovery Version…
It can be lot of fun to experiment while making this putty because you can watch the chemical reaction take place a little bit at a time while you mix the two materials together slowly.

Warning: This version will get really stringy and a bit messy before the mixture tightens up and forms the putty. It may be best to use this method while wearing old clothing in an area that is easy to clean up.
What to do…
Using a plate and a craft stick or your finger, pour a little bit of glue on the plate and then add starch a little at a time. Mix with the stick or your finger and observe how the the mixture begins to come together and tighten up. Add a little more starch and observe what happens as you mix it some more. Keep on adding starch a little a time until you get a flexible ball that is stretchy, pliable, and fun to play with!

Suggestions for play…
  • Stretch it.
  • Roll it.
  • Form it. 
  • Take it apart and make faces with it.
  • Allow it to relax and make shapes out of it with your finger.
  • Put the whole ball of putty at the end of a straw and blow through the straw to form a bubble.

What’s going on?

If you would like to know what’s going on in this experiment, please visit the following sites.

About: Chemistry: History of Silly Putty (Science of Toys) includes a brief explanation of what the reaction is and why it takes place. This site also includes other Silly Putty Recipes and some other fun activities/experiments that can be done with this material.

How Stuff Works: Silly Putty
This site offers the history of Silly Putty and how it works.

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