Kids and messy substances go together like, well, sticky peanut butter and globby jelly. From the moment babies discover what happens when their fingers accidentally slip into a bowl of strained green beans, they find every opportunity they can to coat their hands with stuff. Does it ooze, drip, splatter, stretch, squish, or smear? Bring it on! That's why the slime trend is still going strong among the elementary and middle school sets. It's also why we parents need to know how to fix melted slime when our kids come to us wailing for help.
I know this from personal experience. My daughter has been obsessed with slime ever since it became the school DIY of the moment. She's also well-versed in every slime recipe, thanks to the YouTube experts who get millions of views on their channels just for filming themselves mixing up colorful, glittery glop. (Did you know that young slime guru Karina Garcia has turned her passion into a successful business? Think about that the next time you scrape your kids' used slime off the dining room table.)
But making slime isn't as easy as it sounds; the recipes call for precise proportions of ingredients. Too much glue or too little play clay can result in disaster. I tried making it myself for my pre-K class's sensory table during our Dr. Seuss unit, and instead of a nice, stretchy mass, I ended up with a sticky, finger-adhering mess that even the 5-year-olds didn't want to touch after a while.
Judging by the number of visits and likes on all the "Slime Hacks" videos, I'm not the only one who finds it tough to get the goo just right. One of the biggest problems slime-makers face is melting, when the ingredients break down and turn from solid to liquid. When that happens, it's just a matter of adding back a substance that will stiffen it up again.