Learn how to make a bouncy ball using 3 simple ingredients! These DIY bouncy balls are SO COOL! It’s such a great craft that also doubles as a science experiment!
Kids and adults can make a homemade bouncy ball toy in just a few minutes. They’re so easy to make and a whole lot of fun to play with!
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission which helps us run this website.
How to Make a Bouncy Ball
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.
Step 2: Make the borax solution
- Pour boiling water into a measuring cup, then add the borax.
- Stir well until the borax is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Step 3: Mix the ingredients
- Add the clear glue to a small bowl.
- Add glitter in your favourite colour. Stir until the glitter is well combined with the glue. Add just enough glitter that you can see the colour in your mixture (about 1/4 teaspoon or so). If you add too much glitter your ball won't have the cool see-through look to it.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the borax mixture to the glitter glue and stir.
- Add another teaspoon of the borax mixture and stir until the glue becomes jelly-like and too difficult to stir anymore.
Step 4: Form the bouncy ball
- Pick up the thick slime and squish it together with your hands, making sure there aren't any sticky glue spots remaining.Begin to shape it into a ball.
- Roll the ball in-between your palms, like you would a ball of cookie dough.It will still be wet at first, and difficult to roll, but just keep going! It will become easy to roll fairly quickly.
- Continue rolling until you have a nice round shape.Wet your fingertips with extra borax mixture and smooth down the outside of the ball.(You can also put the ball in a round mold to give it a perfect sphere shape.)
- Now have fun playing with your bouncy ball!Your DIY bouncy ball is complete!
- Use glitter glue to make a bouncy ball with all the sparkle and one less ingredient! Or use glow in the dark glue for a glowing bouncy ball.
- Wash your hands after playing with these bouncy balls. Borax can irritate skin and should not be ingested. Wear gloves to play with these DIY bouncy balls if you have sensitive skin.
- You can find borax in the laundry detergent aisle of your local grocery store or at a superstore like Walmart.
- The borax mixture will give you enough to make 4 – 5 bouncy balls!
What’s the science behind these DIY bouncy balls?
These bouncy balls are basically a really thick slime that’s firm and rubbery. The bouncy balls are created by a chemical reaction between the glue and the borax. These two items combine to form a polymer.
The word polymer literally means “many parts”. A polymer is a substance that is made from long chains of repeating atoms. The molecules in the glue and borax crosslink, or connect, and they form a new substance that is strong, flexible, and elastic.
Can you make a bouncy ball without borax?
No, we don’t recommend making a bouncy ball without borax. We tested several recipes using different ingredients, like cornstarch and baking soda, and they either didn’t work at all, or didn’t work as well.
We also tried to make a bouncy ball with contact lens solution, since it works so well to make slime, but it didn’t work either. The mixture solidified into a thick slime, but wouldn’t roll nicely into a ball, and it didn’t bounce.
We definitely recommend using borax to make a bouncy ball, and following our recipe as written.
Why is my bouncy ball flat? How can I keep it round?
Since these DIY bouncy balls are a thick slime they will eventually flatten into a puddle if left to sit on their own. We recommend storing the bouncy ball in a round mold to help it keep its shape.
We left our bouncy balls in tiny bath bomb molds when we weren’t using them, but you can also use a rounded bowl or a Tablespoon measuring spoon.
How long does a DIY bouncy ball last?
These DIY bouncy balls aren’t meant to be a long lasting toy, and they’re definitely best the first day. As they dry out it’s harder to keep them in their round shape.
If you keep the ball in a round mold, stored inside an airtight container or storage bag, you might be able to use the bouncy ball for another day or two. But they’re so fun and easy to make, so why not make a fresh, new bouncy ball in another colour?
How to make a bouncy ball with white glue?
You can use the exact same recipe and swap out the clear glue for white school glue. Instead of glitter, use a few drops of food colouring to make a coloured bouncy ball.
We found that the clear glue balls bounced higher and better, but the white glue ones also work well!
Do I need to add cornstarch to my bouncy ball recipe?
No need to add cornstarch to your bouncy ball. A lot of bouncy ball recipes contain cornstarch, but with the clear glue we didn’t find it necessary to add any.
If you make your bouncy ball with white glue, the cornstarch makes it easier to shape the ball, but it also makes it heavier – and therefore it doesn’t bounce as high.
Can the DIY bouncy ball be fixed if it splits open?
Yes, you can definitely fix the bouncy ball if it falls apart on the first day it’s made. These balls can come apart sometimes if you throw them too hard, but you can simply squish them back together.
Re-shape the bouncy ball as best you can, and rub more of the borax solution around the outside to help bind it together.
Learn how to make a bouncy ball using our step by step video and photo tutorials! These DIY bouncy balls may not be as bouncy as the superballs you can buy at the store, but they’re still pretty bouncy. And it’s SO COOL to make your own toy!
Make your own bouncy ball at home for a fun rainy day activity, or as part of a sleepover or birthday party. It would also make a great craft for summer camp!
Here’s even more fun ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!