Slime is the latest DIY craze and kids all over the world are driving their parents crazy by stealing all of the Borax and cornstarch to make the gooey stuff. But are the tiniest chemists exempt from this craft, or can toddlers play with slime, too? It seems awfully dangerous to give someone under the age of 4 years old a handful of slime, but FOMO is basically the only personality trait consistent with toddlers.
Honestly, there's no clear answer here — it's pretty much up to your discretion. The thing to keep in mind is the kind of slime you're making. According to a blog written for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, one of the most popular slime recipes includes water, white glue, and Borax. But Borax itself can be a lethal product if ingested. While there's not a whole lot of it used in the making of slime and it's diluted in water, experts have warned against leaving children unattended with Borax.
So where does that leave your toddler? Look, toddlers aren't exactly known for their good decisions. They pick things up they shouldn't, they eat things they shouldn't, and they refuse to listen. You really have to know your child and their personality here. If you think they can handle the oozing stuff, feel free to let your toddler play with slime. But if you know it's a literal recipe for disaster and could end with you calling poison control, it might be best to pick a new craft for your toddler.
There's also the option of creating a safer slime for your toddler to play with, especially if it's edible. Gummy bears can be turned into slime and so can Nutella, cotton candy, and syrup. There are so many safe slime recipes out there that your toddler is sure to find one they can enjoy that won't make you totally panic.
If you do decide to try it, know that there are some benefits to your toddler playing with slime. According to the website for the Museum of Science, toddlers can help measure the ingredients, poke holes in the slime and roll it out, and they'll enjoy trying out a new texture by squishing and squeezing the slime through their fingers.
So can toddlers play with slime? This is really a parenting decision that's up to you. My own 2-year-old came home with DIY slime from pre-school, but her teacher was a genius — she told them they could only play with the slime if it was in a Ziploc bag. (My daughter hasn't asked me once to take it out.) Use your discretion when it comes to slime and your toddler, just be sure to supervise, even if you fully trust them. (Nobody ever fully trusts a toddler though.)