I am once again enthused to demonstrate Borax Bouncy Ball Experiment to all of you which we tried at home with my two little angels.
It was a winter holiday and found snow all around. We could hardly find a way to move out. But that’s when the problem started. My tiny little tot Tisha always wanted to move around places. She felt really suffocated to stay at home. I wanted to engage them, but doing the same things will not make them happy.
I thought of playing ball with them. What was different in playing ball is the thought in your mind now? Did I guess it right? Not with the usual ball, we play, but this time I wanted to make my own ball that bounces for the kids to have fun.
As usual, I started with some questions. I believe in kindling curiosity with questions. Especially kids of age 7 like my elder ones like challenges and they will feel excited to answer questions. However, for the little one as small as 5 might not know it is a challenge, but they will participate too in answering questions.
Without beating around the bush, let me come to the point now.
Borax Bouncy Ball Experiment
What You Need
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Steps involved in making a bouncing ball – With ingredients
All you need is some borax powder (you can get it from the laundry sections of shops) I guess most of you will be having it. Then need some warm water, glue (preferably a clear glue) some corn starch. Yes, spoon for mixing. Optionally you can also use food coloring to prepare colorful balls.
- First, mix the borax powder in warm water and make it a solution so that there are no lumps formed. Here I took help from my younger one to measure and take the mixture in the bowl. Asked my elder one to whisk thoroughly.
- Next, again my younger one mixed some corn starch and glue to this borax solution.
- Elder one kept on stirring until it became thick.
- Then I allowed both of them to knead the dough like the mixture into small balls. This is the fun part where they will play like anything with the dough. It did not stick.
- You must have added color if you want to before step 3 when the mixture is watery. Once it becomes thick the mixing of color will not be uniform.
Now you know how it happened so I suggest you to try taking different measurement of glue, borax powder, and corn starch to see how they make the bouncy ball work. Feel free to share your results and let us keep this forum open for learning.
If you have Borax powder handy at home, I would urge you to try some of our crystal making activities:
Borax Bouncy Ball – FAQs
I would also want to address a few queries in advance to give you a detailed insight into this experiment. Let us get going.
Borax acts as a cross-linker and it hooks the molecules in the glue to form a bouncy ball with a rubbery texture.
You can simply make a bouncy ball without borax. Yes use only corn starch and follow these instructions. Mix corn starch with water and microwave for 20 seconds. Then add some more water and roll it to the shape of a ball. Microwave again for 15 seconds and you’re done.
Glue on the bouncy ball contains a long chain of molecules and they are called polymers. When glue is added to borax solution the polymers are linked together forming a net. Additionally corn starch binds the molecules and gives them shape. The ball bounces due to the polymers cross-linked together. Polymers have an elastic property that will stretch but not break.
The bouncy polymer is made with the help of the glue and borax solution. Take them in the right proportion and add starch to make it firm.
Glue, the polymer is mainly inside the bouncy ball. In large scale, manufacturing shops use rubber as the polymer to make a bouncy ball.
The elastic property makes the ball bounce and springy. Therefore rubber has the highest elasticity and hence it is springy compared to all other balls.
Follow the instructions given in the above section and make a super bouncy ball. Try different composition of the ingredients to let us know when your ball bounced the highest.
Yes, it is due to the fact that the gas molecules in the ball will expand with temperature. When this expansion happens, it will let the energy increase and result in bouncing effect. Lower the temperature, lower with the pressure and hence bounce decreases. On the contrary, high pressure will increase with the temperature that makes the ball bounce higher.
The combination of the substances and the temperature affects the bounce of the ball. For instance, on a colder day the air molecule will contract and makes the ball less elastic. In summary, the property of the materials used to make the ball, temperature, pressure, surface texture, etc affects the bounce of the ball.
Yes, they do. You can keep them in a sealed zip lock in the refrigerator to keep it bouncing for some time. Yes, cool balls add additional kick to the kids while playing. Make fresh one as and when required and discard them for safety reasons.
The idea for this experiment was inspired by this post by Amy.
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