Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Slime Factory

Slime Factory

Fall 2013 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Be Amazing!
Price: $19.99

Slime is one of those love-it-or-loathe it substances. If your child is in the love-it camp, then the Slime Factory is sure to be a hit. The kit includes the basic ingredients to make slime (goo + activator, i.e., polyvinyl alcohol and borax) as well as a wide range of additives: color tablets, glitter, a pearly liquid, gel beads, styrofoam beads, even plastic bugs. The instructions carefully go through the steps for making slime and then explain how the additives can be used individually; then they encourage experimentation with multiple additives to make unique creations.

The instruction manual goes into the chemistry behind this, explaining monomer and polymer chains. It also points out the behavior of the chains; the slime is a non-Newtonian fluid, both a liquid and a solid at the same time. As the set encourages experimentation, this inevitably leads to mishaps; our pearly pink goo was too liquid, but further problem-solving revealed that a little more slime activator was needed to better bind the molecules—so the learning does not stop with what is on the page.

The slime is messy, but the cleanup is easy (and explained in the instructions). Gross, fun, and educational—what more could you want?

Emily Crawford   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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