OK, that may be just a little melodramatic. Though I can say with absolute certainty that our kitchen has been transformed into a modern day mad scientist lab. Everywhere you look, there’s some ingredient or piece of equipment that plays an integral role in the creation of this stretchy, gooey stuff.
Gallons of glue, cans of shaving cream, boxes of baking soda, a dozen types of food coloring, along with bags of glitter and beads, saline solution, measuring cups and spoons and rubber gloves. And plastic food containers. Lots of plastic food containers full of slime as far as the eye can see.
All of these ingredients and more go into the creation of the various types of slime. And it’s not just regular slime the kids are making. Kids are challenging themselves and others to make strange and bizarre types of slime, from butter slime, to glow-in-the-dark slime, ice cream slime, foam slime and the always ambitious clear slime.
I know why my daughter makes the sticky stuff all hours of the day. It’s fun and she loves it. But I wanted to learn more, to get some non-familial answers. So, I decided to go to Michael’s in Kingsport recently. The store holds craft events throughout the week and, surprise, the next one on the schedule was on slime making.
It was there I met 6-year-old Nora Carico. She’s been making slime with her mother, Sara, for the past four years. A baby sister is on the way (and may already be here by the time this sees publication), and Nora is excited about having a partner in the slime-making business.
“We did make some slime when she was 2 years old and it got stuck in her hair and we had to cut it out,” Sara said. “But now she’s really gotten into it in the past year.”
It seems like there are 500 containers in our house, Sara said.
If you go to YouTube and search for “slime” or “how to make slime,” you’ll get hundreds — if not thousands — of results. Books and magazines have been written on the subject, and there are tons of websites totally dedicated to the making of slime.
And why shouldn’t there be? It’s being taught in school, after all. Slime making — at its core — is a science experiment. Just one disguised in a fun and exciting way.
“We were never really big on slime. It’s just gross and ooey,” said Wednesday Cleaveland, who lives in Sullivan Gardens and was also at the Michael’s event I went to. As she told me this, her 8-year-old daughter, Morgan, was sitting next to her.
She was all smiles, stretching and flipping her slime end over end in her hand.
“(Morgan) had a friend give her some slime that she made at home and it was really cute and soft. Then we found out (Michael’s) did it here,” Wednesday said. “So, I said I’ll just let her come here. It’ll be something fun to do on Fridays. I was glad she had fun with it, but now I want to play with the slime too.
“I was looking for mine the other day,” Wednesday admitted. “Where’s my slime? I need to squish it.”
And that’s the secret behind this slime-making phenomenon. It’s really rather simple. It’s just something fun and challenging (and educational) to do with your kids and grandkids. It’s nothing more than that.
So, embrace your inner child, clear off the kitchen table and get to work on making some slime. I’m certain you’re kids will love you for it.
Matthew Lane covers Kingsport government for the Times News. Email him at [email protected]