written by: Kara Bietz
• edited by: Wendy Finn
• updated: 12/14/2014
Flubber is a favorite hands-on material of preschool children and teachers! What's not to like about the texture, wobble and general flubberiness of flubber! As well as two flubber recipes we also include ideas for using flubber in your preschool classroom.
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Do you need to ask what flubber is? Super fun and easy to clean up, flubber is a favorite activity of preschoolers and teachers alike. Make this preschool flubber recipe with your class! Expand your science curriculum with the simple experiments using the flubber.
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup Elmer's glue
food coloring (if desired)
2 tsp. Borax
1/2 cup warm water
Stir mixture one together in one bowl, mixture two in another. Make sure both are mixed well. Pour mixture one into mixture two. No stirring necessary, just work the mixture with your hands.
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When making flubber with preschoolers, it is a good idea to let them have a hand in making the recipe. A good way to include the children the making of flubber is to use a large posterboard to display the recipe. Use pictures when appropriate to illustrate the recipe steps. Allow the children the chance to measure ingredients, pour, and mix. Talk about what is happening to the ingredients as they react to each other. What happens when you combine warm water and glue? Give the children the choice of food coloring to use when making the flubber. Note what happens when the borax mixture is added to the glue mixture. Ask the children what the flubber feels like in their hands. Record or take note of their observations.
Compare and Contrast: There are many ways in which flubber is similar to play dough, but many ways that it is different. Have small portions of play dough, clay, and flubber available in your science center. Ask the children to tell you how all the substances are the same, and how they differ. Be sure to take notes of the children's answers.
Solid or Liquid?: Use flubber as a jumping off point to discuss solids and liquids. Be sure to note that the flubber began as two separate liquids, but when combined, it became a more solid substance. Ask the children if they think the flubber will sink or float. Test the theory.
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Alternative Flubber Recipe
The following is another preschool flubber recipe. This recipe is a little less child-friendly because it requires the use of a microwave, the mixture is quite hot, and requires a bit of time to cool off.
What you will need:
1 tsp Metamucil
8 oz (1 cup) water
Microwave safe bowl
Food coloring (optional)
Mix Metamucil with water in a microwave safe bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring. Alternatively, you can use colored gelatin or drink mix for colored flubber. Microwave for 5 minutes on high or until the mixture is about to bubble out of the bowl. Let it cool slightly before putting back into the microwave for 5 more minutes. The mixture will become more and more rubbery the more times you choose to microwave it. After five or six times in the microwave, pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet, spreading it out with a spoon. Allow it to cool. You can use cookie cutters to cut shapes into the flubber. Flubber will keep in a sealed baggy for a couple of months. It will keep indefinitely in a sealed, refrigerated container.
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Cleaning up the flubber shouldn't take any more effort than a bit of soap and water. These recipes are non-toxic, but should not be eaten or tasted.