Craft Ideas, Kid Stuff, Projects

Homemade Gak

Homemade Gak 1
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Winter is here . . . and it is CRAZY cold in Utah! The HIGH temperature for the day doesn’t even reach 20 degrees and the low in the morning is usually a negative number. I try not to take my kids anywhere and so we are forced to find things to do to entertain ourselves.
The best part about this craft is that it seriously took less than 3 minutes to throw together and it entertained my kids for 2 straight hours! I am not even kidding!

 To make your own gak, this is what you will need:

-2 (4 oz) bottles of Elmer’s glue (or one big 8 oz bottle like mine)
-1 teaspoon Borax (I bought that huge box of Borax at WalMart for less than $2. You can find it on the laundry detergent aisle)
-Water
-Food coloring
Empty your bottles of glue into a big bowl. Then fill the empty bottles with warm water, shake it up and dump it into the bowl with the glue. Add some food coloring (the more you add, the more vibrant your gak will be). Set the bowl aside.
 Fill a cup with 1/2 cup of warm water. Add the 1 teaspoon of Borax and mix until the Borax is dissolved. Pour the Borax mixture into your bowl and start stirring (I used a big wooden spoon to mix it up). You will see that it will start to get “stringy”. When it becomes difficult to stir with a spoon, continuing mixing with your hands. Keep squishing it and kneading it until it starts to become gelatinous.
The more you play with it, the more “gak”-like it becomes!
I occasionally let my kids play with Play-Doh, but I hate it because it smells funny and when it dries out, it leaves a huge mess behind. This Gak doesn’t smell at all and it doesn’t dry out or leave a mess behind! When we are done playing, we just put it in a large Ziploc bag and save it for another day! It is awesome!
Kristyn over at Lil’ Luna also has a cute idea to give this Gak as a gift . . . you can check it out here.
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Comments

    • says

      I am not sure- I think that it has to be Borax because of the ingredients in Borax and the chemical reaction that it has with the water and the glue.

  1. says

    I do this with my students in Chemistry, and it is always one of their favorite labs! The Borax can be hard to find sometimes, but Target always seems to have it – usually on a bottom shelf near the laundry detergent, but not always exactly next to it (which I found out one day after searching for it for about 20 minutes one aisle over from where it was!)

  2. says

    I really love this idea. Thanks for sharing. Definitely going to try this weekend with the kids because I am so tired of the Play-Doh drying out and getting stuck in the carpet, so thanks so much again for sharing!!!

  3. says

    You fill up your empty glue bottles with water and add that in, which is 8 ounces. Then later in the recipe you will need 1/2 cup of water to add the 1 teaspoon of borax. Hope this helps. It’s so fun to play with.
    -The Six Sisters

    • says

      You would be fine to not use any coloring at all, if you want! It won’t be a very fun color, but it would be the same gooey texture. I used a lot of food coloring and the kids played on my white countertop and it kind of discolored the countertop, but I was able to clean it off with some scouring powder. I hope that helps!

  4. says

    My son made this is in preschool last year, and they made it in combination with reading “Bartholomew and the Oobleck”, by Dr. Suess. Instead of calling it Gak, they called it Oobleck, and the kids had a BLAST!!!!

    Thanks for linking up to the City of Motherly Love Thursday Linky party (cityofmotherlylove.blogspot.com). I really appreciate it!!!

    • says

      Hi Shelley, It would depend on how much food coloring you put it. I used about a half a bottle of green and it left a faint outline on my white counter. You don’t need to add color or just put a little in to make it a fun light shade. You can totally leave it white and for sure not have any problems. But I think you would be fine just coloring it barely. Sounds like a fun Sunday School to me!!! :) Hope this helps.

  5. says

    We just made this and I used gel food coloring (just a few drops of blue and red for a nice lavender) and it didn’t stain anything at all. Thanks for this, they had great fun! Unfortunately the 11 year old (of course it would be the oldest) discovered why you shouldn’t use it as a hat ROFL.

  6. says

    Such a great idea! I’ve been implementing these ideas lately too and its amazing how something so simple is so helpful! I want to start a page as your ans recently I asked a web design company ELCO PLANET (www.elcoplanet.com) to develope the page for me.. I was just interested for web hosting.. can you please advice me about web hosting provider.. have you ever heard for http://www.elcoplanet.com offering hosting, alfa reseller hosting… ? thanks a lot

    • says

      We have a private company do our web hosting because they host our MyRecipeMagic.com site. There are thousands of webhosting providers. I have heard that HostGator.com does a good job. And if are using Google’s blogger.com, you can get your blog hosted for free. WordPress.com charges a little for a simple blog, but that is about all we know.

  7. says

    My children play with play-dough almost everyday. You are so right about the mess – we bought a handheld vacuum just so they could start cleaning it up themselves. Excited to try this gap recipe as an alternative. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Heather Owens says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We can not play with playdoh here due to celiac disease (it is made with wheat, primarily, and my husband and I are both sensitive to wheat). It would contaminate the whole house badly. Also, I hate salt dough, it has a gritty texture and is a pain to make. This Gak stuff is the most amazing stuff ever! For about 3 bucks (get the 4oz glue bottles at Walmart, it is the cheapest cost per ounce) we made 3 batches of Gak (one per kid) and a sick day went from unbearably whiny to fun. Plus, we threw in a chemistry lesson about changing the properties of substances. Thank you again, this was SO much fun!!!

  9. Jo H. says

    When I taught elementary school, we made a version with corn starch. Don’t recall any glue, so it was less expensive…. the texture was a little different; the fun equal!

  10. Sushje says

    I enjoy your site. I work as a sub in a preschool and remembered this idea from when my own kids were young. I was happy to find your recipe as I planned to make it for my grandsons. . . until my now grown daughter warned me about Borax being absorbed and toxic and asked me not to do it. Please read the recent Government warning, they offer a safe substitute, cornstarch, that makes it just as well. http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/admin/news/PDF/HealthNewsBorax2013.pdf

  11. mary says

    I have followed these directions to the tee and my water does not absorb in to glue I put the borax with 1/2 cup water and start stirring and I get a ball of lite colored glue hard what I’m I doing wrong.

  12. Sue says

    Mary I having the same problem….. followed instructions and have a ball of hard glue that snaps, the water and glue have separated… is there anyway to rescue it or do I just throw it away and never try this again.

  13. Jackie Schneider says

    Have you ever tried this with glitter glue? I was curious is anyone has and if the results were the same. This looks like fun.

  14. Jessica says

    I took child care in high school and we made this with sta-flo liquid starch. I cant remember the measurements but i believe all it was, was glue, sta-flo and food coloring

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