When I worked for Disney Cruise Lines as a performer, one of my favourite shows was Supper Sloppy Science: How to make Flubber. It was one of the most popular shows for children (of all ages) in the kids’ spaces. I did that show well over 60 times during my time as a Youth Activities Entertainment Hostess.
When I finally left and came back to being a nanny I missed that show more than anything (along with storybook time with princess or puzzle playtime with Mickey and friends). I still miss it. It was crazy and fast paced, and normally I had a crowd of 250+ children, with many adults trying to hang around for a piece of the action!
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I have wanted to make Flubber with my little ones since I started looking after them, but it there was just one small snag. The ingredient that makes it all possible is next to impossible to get hold of in the UK. It seems that the EU has banned Borax in Europe! However, after much searching, and asking friends who visited America to bring it back, I did find a website that sells it. Then a few weeks later, my youngest charge told me how they had watched Flubber over the weekend, it was literally like the universe was telling me to make it with them. I asked them both if they wanted to make some, to which I got a resounding yes.
Before you all start to worry that I have exposed my little ones to some harmful chemical, Borax is used as a laundry detergent. The health warnings on it do say that is may cause damage to an unborn baby, so if you are pregnant you might not want to do this. It is also an irritant to inhale (trust me I have actually done that by accident during one of my shows), but that would be the same as sticking your nose into a box of Daz and taking a good whiff. Saying that, Americans are very happy using this to make all sorts of things and I have never actually let any child handle it, it has always been myself or another adult handing it out. If you do decide to go ahead and make it, your little ones will probably love this activity.
To make your own Flubber you will need:
- 2 cups (disposable ones makes clear up much easier)
- 1 teaspoon of borax available on eBay
- 2 1 teaspoons of water
- Elmer’s Blue Gel Glue
- A popsicle stick
- Yellow food dye
- Zip lock bag
Pour the glue into one of the cups – I never measure it, but you roughly want to fill it ¼ of the way up.
In the second cup add one teaspoon and one teaspoon of Borax and mix together. I actually get them to swish the cup to mix it, as it something slightly different for them to do. I never call the Borax ‘Borax’ with my little ones (just like on the ship); instead it is Pixie dust, which has been sent to us by the fairies. I also told them that because it was a secret ingredient, no adult was allowed to know what it was, and that if they asked it was crushed up pizza crust. My little ones, thought that this was the funniest thing that they had every heard and afterwards ran to tell their parents that we used pizza crust (wink wink) to make the Flubber.
Add the cup with the Borax solution into the cup with the glue in and again stir it really quickly. The trick to this is make sure that popsicle stick goes all the way to the bottom of the cup to get all the glue. It should all stick together on the spoon.
Open up your zip lock bag and then take out the Flubber and mould it into a ball. If it hasn’t been mixed together properly it will be very gluey. Place the Flubber into the bag and then put it into the fridge for a while to set it.
The whole process of making Flubber takes about 3 minutes; on the ship the show was an hour! That’s a lot of padding out to make it fun, I did also have a script, but for the most part it was improvised. When I did it with my little ones and their friend I did try and replicate parts of the show to make it more interesting, they seemed to really enjoy the whole thing and my eldest charge went to bed hugging his bag of Flubber.
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