A chemistry experiment and family fun, all in one.
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Before glittery slime was all the rage, there was gak. The quasi-solid, quasi-liquid goop is a sneaky fun lesson in chemistry, and even though it takes less than five minutes to make, it will entertain your kids for hours on end. It’s super stretchy and malleable, and if rolled up into a ball, it can bounce! Gak only requires four ingredients (though you may have to make a quick trip to the store to pick up Borax if that’s not something you usually keep on hand) and comes together without ever turning on the stove. If you’ve been suffering from cabin fever or are just looking for a rainy-day craft project, this is it. Stored in an airtight container, your homemade gak should last for about a month.

What you’ll need to make homemade gak:

1 4-ounce bottle of school glue, like Elmer’s

Water

Borax

Food coloring

How to make homemade gak:

First, pour glue into a small mixing bowl or container. Then, add ½ cup of water. Stir together. Add a few drops of food coloring, and mix until the glue-water combo is the desired hue. In another small cup or bowl, dissolve ½ teaspoon of Borax into a ¼ cup of hot water. Once the Borax has completely dissolved, pour the Borax-water solution into the glue-water mixture. Stir together until the gak begins to solidify. Play! Repeat as many times as desired to create a rainbow collection of gak. To easily double or triple the batch, just remember that each bottle of glue requires a ½ teaspoon of Borax.

Word to the wise:

Small children should only play with gak with adult supervision, as Borax isn't safe to ingest and can in some cases be a skin or eye irritant. For a no-supervision-required option, consider making soft, edible playdough instead.