Free Fun at Home: DIY Silly Putty

Is there really anything better than Silly Putty? It’s moldable and goopy, it breaks when you pull it and bounces. It’s a kid’s favorite toy and a mom’s go-to “purse toy”. When I found out I could make the stuff myself, I just had to try. I found all two ingredients at my local Walmart. Sta-flo liquid starch and Elmer’s Glue-All multipurpose glue. I got giant bottles of both for a grand total of about $7, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never run out of silly putty. 

It’s the easiest recipe I’ve ever seen. One part starch, one part glue. I did a tablespoon of each to make about the amount you’d buy in one of those familiar red eggs. Food coloring is optional, I used the gel kind because that’s what I had, but liquid would work just fine too. 

Mix the food coloring with the glue before adding the starch, that way you can get a nice even color. 

Once the food coloring and glue are mixed, add your starch. It’ll turn into a horrible gloppy mess. Stir it up as much as you can and leave it for a few minutes to let most of the starch soak into the glue. 

Dump it onto a paper towel and dry it off slightly and get rid of any excess starch, then knead it in your hands for a few minutes to get it all combined into a perfect shiny lump. 

This is a great activity to do with older kids, since it’s a bit messy to start, and comes together easily and quickly. With an almost-three-year-old I did all the mixing and kneading and she did all the playing, but that’s fine by me. All in, it took me 5 minutes and entertained my daughter for hours, so the cost-benefit ratio is extremely favorable. 

I’ll be making more as treat-bag favors for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party. It’s way less messy than play-doh and I’d have no problem bringing it to a restaurant or in the car. 

Go now. Get silly!

By Jessica Gollub, my amazing sister-in-law who, when not busy crafting new toys for her two adorable children, writes novels, runs her own professional photography business, cans, makes jam and bakes from scratch.  Her blog is Not Quite Suzie Homemaker.

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