Did you know that it’s possible to make slime magnetic? I didn’t either until recently when I found a post on Pinterest from Instructables about making magnetic silly putty. I really recommend this slime recipe rather than silly putty – more on that in a minute. But first, check out what magnetic slime can do!
Magnetic slime is really fun to play with on its own. It stretches and squishes. If you hold it up, it oozes down to the floor in a long strand! Adding the element of magnet play makes it even more awesome. This is a great project to put on your to-do list for a rainy day, spring break, or summer! It would also make a great group activity for a science club or scouting group.
To make your own magnetic slime, you will need:
(These links are Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase through the links, I will earn a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. This is one craft that I would recommend ordering from Amazon because the items can be hard to find.)
- Liquid starch – We used Sta-flo Liquid Starch. I found it at Kroger, but not at Target or Walmart.
- Elmer’s glue
- Iron Oxide powder
- Disposable bowls for mixing it up – saves washing slime out of dishes! We used craft sticks for stirring.
- A neodymium (rare earth) magnet – A regular magnet won’t be strong enough. The set that we ordered from Amazon is no longer available, but here is something similar: 10 neodymium disc magnets. And here is an option with only 3 magnets, but they are thicker (less likely to chip): 3 neodymium disc magnets. One more – this one is a long cylinder: neodymium cylinder magnet.
Here’s how to make magnetic slime:
Step 1: Pour 1/4 cup of liquid starch into a bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of iron powder and stir until well mixed.
Step 2: Add 1/4 cup white school glue and mix. It will look like a huge mess that isn’t going to turn into anything, but keep stirring!
Step 3: Take the slime out of the bowl and mix with your hands. Squish and squish until it’s well mixed. There will be some liquid left in the bowl that isn’t part of the slime, and that’s fine. Your hands will get very black, and you should wash it off right away. We had black left around our fingernails and slight staining on our hands, but it was mostly gone by the next day.
If you’re not a fan of lingering black around your fingernails, disposable gloves would solve that problem.
Step 4: Pat the slime dry with a paper towel to get rid of any excess liquid. The finished slime won’t make your hands black, but the extra liquid will. Once the slime is “dry,” it’s ready to play with!
We made our slime as a play date with friends who also have four boys. So much fun! Everyone enjoyed it – ages 5 to 12! We mixed up the slime with 2 kids at a time to minimize the mess. I put down a large piece of parchment paper to protect the counter, but we didn’t have any trouble wiping up slime spills that did get on the counter. No stains, but ours aren’t white. If you have very light counter tops you might want to cover them just in case.
One of our friends figured out that he could blow a bubble with the slime – it really is amazing stuff!
Here are a couple more important notes:
- Neodymium magnets are extremely strong! Fingers can easily get pinched when trying to separate the magnets, so we didn’t even separate ours. (Plus, they’re small, and the whole stack of them was easier for the younger boys to hang on to.) Be sure to keep the magnets away from cell phones, computer, and other electronics! Also make sure that no one puts them in their mouth – these would be very dangerous if swallowed. Overall, this is not a project for kids who still put things in their mouths.
- Iron oxide powder is not good to breathe. This is why we mixed our iron in with the liquid starch. In the post on Instructables, they recommend mixing the iron powder directly into ready-made silly putty. Aidan and I tried doing that the day before our friends came over, except that we used our homemade silly putty recipe. Working with the iron powder was way more messy than just stirring it into a liquid, and we had a LOT of trouble getting it to mix with the silly putty. I would go the slime route instead of using silly putty, especially for younger kids.
If making magnetic slime seems like too much of a hassle, you can actually purchase magnetic silly putty – Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty which comes with a magnet and does the same thing. (Although judging by the reviews, I think the homemade slime responds better to the magnet!)
Also, here is our colored slime recipe – without the iron. It’s really fun this way too, and better for younger kids!