Messy play and slime are two things that parents usually want to avoid. However, messy play offers numerous opportunities for learning. It also helps in other areas of development (physical, language, social, cognitive, etc.). A popular messy play activity is slime. There are many different types of slime and each provides different texture and sensory feedback. Playing with slime can also improve your child’s physical development — eye-hand coordination, finger and hand strengthening and control, as well as finger and hand manipulation. Below are some slime recipes and some suggestions on how play with them.

Basic Slime recipe:

  • 1 cup PVA glue
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • Paint/glitter (optional)
  • Contact lens solution

Mix the glue, and baking soda together in a bowl. Then if you choose, add in some paint or glitter. Mix it well, then gradually add in contact lens solution and continue to stir until the mixture starts to separate from the container. You then start kneading it with your hand until you get the desired consistency, (If it is still too sticky, just add in more contact lens solution).

With basic slime, you can pull it, pound it, roll it, or make bubbles. You can also use props such as plastic knives (to cut the slime), strainers/colanders, straws (to blow bubbles), or even small toys to hide and have your child find them. You can also vary the sensory experience by using different slime recipes.


Butter Slime:

  • Basic slime ingredients (as above)
  • Moulding clay (Play-Doh/Crayola)

Make some basic slime and add in a small amount of moulding clay and knead it into the slime. You can add a little bit more of the clay depending on how dry or stretchy you want the slime to be. Note: the more clay you put in, the drier the slime becomes.


Crunchy/Bead Slime:

  • Basic slime ingredients (as above)
  • Small beads

Make a recipe of basic slime and while the slime is still a bit sticky, add in the beads and mould with your hands. The slime has to be sticky to keep the beads from falling out easily when playing with the slime.

This slime provides a very different texture and sound. You can also have your child try to pick up or pull out the small beads with his thumb and index finger. This improves your child’s pincer grasp.