Families finding fun with slime-making fad

A child whips up some blue slime.


If you had young children on spring break recently, this might have happened to you.

The weather outside was lousy, the kids were getting antsy and you were tired of them spending the days playing computer games, complaining about having nothing to do and generally making you and themselves miserable.

So, you decided to make slime.

If you didn’t go with the slime idea — the junior generation version of the nuclear option — then you apparently were one of the few, the bored, the unslimed because making slime seems to be America’s biggest industry these days. It’s not exactly a cash crop, except for the makers of Elmer’s Glue and the stores that sell it.

If you have young children, you probably are familiar with the Nickelodeon staple, usually greenish, that is dumped on people’s heads on seemingly every show on the network. It looks gross and messy and not the sort of thing adults want in their home or on their kids. In other words, kids love it.

Fortunately, slime has evolved into several much more parent-friendly forms while still maintaining its youthful appeal. A quick check of the internet for slime recipes will open up a list of scores of sites with enough ways to make slime to keep the kids slimy for weeks and send Elmer’s Glue stock through the roof.

In fact, the Elmer’s Glue website has recipes and the company is promoting slime-making on TV.

“Slime is definitely a huge trend right now,” Paola Reyes, senior account executive with Cohn & Wolfe, which handles publicity for Elsie the cow’s husband Elmer and his white liquid gold, said in an email. “The slime craze began a few months ago, and Elmer’s has, indeed, seen a surge in sales thanks to it.

“In the second half of 2016, Elmer’s saw an increase in liquid glue (school and glitter glues) sales due in large part to slime mania,” Reyes said. “But a larger spike occurred in the last four weeks of 2016, during the holiday season when sales of Elmer’s liquid glues in retail stores increased by more than double.”

Not every store has been able to keep up with the demand. When a Times reporter went to the Portage Meijer looking for Elmer’s so his granddaughter could make slime, the only thing left was the 1.25-ounce bottles and spray-on Elmer’s.

Since a “normal” batch of slime requires at least a cup of glue, neither was a viable option. When the reporter asked if the glue shortage was caused by everyone making slime with their grandchildren, the store clerk said simply, “That’s exactly it.”

Meijer did not respond to calls for comments on the fad, but an associate, who asked to remain nameless, at Michael’s in Hobart said the slime craze has been going on for several months and has really gotten big in the last month or so. The associate said people call the store asking if Michael’s has glue available.

Bob Miller, communications coordinator for Hobby Lobby, said in an email, “Hobby Lobby saw an increase in the sale of white glue toward the end of 2016. It didn’t take long to recognize that our customers, like many Americans, were caught up in making homemade slime.

“When Hobby Lobby noticed glue sales increasing due to this fun crafting trend, our buyers were able to respond quickly. Most stores have been able to meet the demand and still have white glue available on their shelves,” Miller said.

One website offers 16 different recipes for slime. Some are edible, although the site warns that one listed as edible, Koolaid Playdough slime, isn’t very tasty, some glow in the dark and some require the use of Borax while others don’t.

The varieties range from Classic Slime (as seen on TV in its greenish goriness), to magnetic slime, to radioactive-looking slime to edible blood slime (it also glows but no opinion is offered on the tastiness of this version), and glitter slime.

You can make a thermochromic slime that changes colors depending on the temperature, like a mood ring, a floam slime, which has plastic foam beads to make it moldable, Flubber, or electroactive slime, which, when you charge a piece of plastic foam by rubbing it against some wool or fur and hold it next to the oozing slime, the slime will stop and seem to gel.

There’s also a version called simply “gunK” or “goo” and a soap slime kids can play with in the tub. And no list would be complete without chocolate slime, using cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. If that’s not enough for you, you can go to Elmer’s.com/slime for more ideas.

Some of it is more doughy than slimy, but, any way you make it, when the kids are looking for something to do, it’s slime time.