Rainbow slime in preschool

Your students will love making their very own colored slime!

I have previously shared with you our simple slime recipe and when my students asked if we could make some slime again – how could I resist?

I decided that instead of using the white Elmer’s glue, we should try using the clear Elmer’s glue which I picked up from Walmart. The clear glue has a more translucent look to it and the colors really pop and since we are talking about rainbows, I want the slime to be bright and colorful!

The How To

To make this slime recipe you will need…

  • 1 Part Elmers Clear School Glue
  • 1 Part Liquid Starch
  • food color

The children started by pouring a full bottle of clear glue into a bowl for each color of slime we chose to make…

Then the children filled the clear bottles up with liquid starch (we filled the bottles just about 2/3’s full instead of all the way full) and poured that into the bowl on top of the glue…

And then each child selected one color from our food coloring and added a few drops into the glue and starch mixture…

The children then used a spoon to mix the glue, starch, and food color up until the food color seemed to be well blended and the mixture started to “gel” (this goes very quick)…

Exploring the Slime

Once the slime started gelling a bit, the children set down the spoons and dove in to finish the process with their hands.  By using a spoon at first, it keeps the concentrated areas food color from getting on hands. Once it is mixed up a bit, the food color is much less likely or unlikely to stain hands at all….

After the slime starts to really gel up, then we transferred the slime out of the bowls and onto a tray.  I actually even rinsed off the slime just a quick second and then set it on the trays. The children used their hands to knead the slime. The longer the slime is played with, the more pliable and less sticky it becomes….

The children played with the slime for quite awhile and then we put it away to enjoy again the next day. I added a few more colors of slime as well to what the children had made. The threes joined us for the next day it was a rainbow colored slime party all throughout the classroom…

Building Fine Motor Skills

The children used their hands to pull, stretch, roll, shape, and squeeze the slime…

You will want to make sure the children keep the slime on a washable surface and off of carpet or clothing…

The children also used scissors to cut the slime…

Enjoying the Sensory Experience

By the end of our day, I let the children mix some of the slime colors and for the most part, we ended up with primarily green slime but the children really didn’t care – it still felt and looked like slime…

Storing Slime

We saved the rest of our slime for another day. Slime can be saved in a sealed container or plastic bag for awhile – perhaps up to several weeks. I don’t know for sure because we tend to mix it all up and use it until we decide just to throw it away and start over….

Why we Love Rainbow Slime

It really is such a wonderful material for sensory play and to work those small muscles…

A great way to feel a rainbow!

View this process on Fox 59!

You may have seen us featured on the Fox News Segment: Making Goop for Kids

Slime ingredients are available on Amazon….


Books on Amazon…


(A book about how each color of the rainbow makes you feel!)

By |2018-12-27T09:35:32+00:00March 6th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Jill March 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    we are LOVING slime right now! we made some with Borax it turned out great! Will have to try this one as well!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 7, 2012 at 8:03 am - Reply

      I haven’t tried making it with Borax. I would be interested in seeing what the difference is…

  2. Amy McCready March 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    This is awesome!!! Thanks for the ideas – I just shared this with the Positive Parenting Solutions community!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 7, 2012 at 8:02 am - Reply

      Thank you So much Amy!

  3. Little Wonders' Days March 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    This looks so fun. We’ ve never made slime, but I want to now! My kids will love it.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 7, 2012 at 8:02 am - Reply

      It is fun to explore and play with – I hope you give it a try!

  4. Veronica March 6, 2012 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    I’ve tried this before, but I think I had the ratio wrong. I can’t wait to try this with my daughters this weekend. Those pictures want to make me make it right now. Making a rainbow was a brilliant idea!

    @ http://watchmeplaynlearn.blogspot.com/

  5. stephanie a. March 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    oh, this post is screaming, “pin me!!!”

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 7, 2012 at 8:01 am - Reply

      You are too funny Stephanie:)

  6. km March 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    This is sooooo awesome. I want to go make some right now!!!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 7, 2012 at 8:01 am - Reply

      Haha – It has lots of color which is perfect for you!

  7. crystal@growingajeweledrose March 7, 2012 at 1:53 am - Reply

    I really just love this post! My daughter loves slime, and rainbows. I will have to do this with her. Thanks for the great idea!

  8. Melinda Glen March 7, 2012 at 7:26 am - Reply

    I’m not a fan of food color (although I really appreciate your comments and added instructions about how to use it) and wonder if you’ve tried this recipe with liquid water color?
    Keep inspiring us!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 7, 2012 at 8:00 am - Reply

      I haven’t tried liquid water color in a recipe like this but I would imagine any type of coloring would work – it may change the “clearness” of the slime but I am not really sure!

  9. pam March 7, 2012 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Love the way this looks with the clear glue!! I’ll have to run out and buy it today to try this!

  10. Stacie March 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Oh, wow! This looks so fun….and MESSY!! Will have to try this out!

  11. RITA March 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait for the kids to come in tomorrow to try this project.
    Do you have any suggestins for making birds nests?
    I am looking to make birds nest with 2-3 yr olds..
    thanks in advance.

  12. Esther March 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    No liquid starch in Holland 🙁 or at least I have not been able to find it yet. Going to try the sewing machine store tomorrow…Í am not going to give up..because I love this idea …slime!

  13. Pamela March 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Has anyone tried this with Kool-Aid or any other powdered drink mix? Just thinking that the color and the smell would be amazing together, and without the mess of the stains with food coloring.

  14. Kerrie Gagnon March 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I tried this today with my kids and I tried to make my own liquid starch since my 2 year old eats everything. It didn’t work. I’m sure it could but I will have to real play with the ratio on the mixture.

  15. chelle March 8, 2012 at 11:42 am - Reply

    made this today…it ever left the stick to everything stage…so we kinda ran out of slime to play with because it covered our hands (for some up to the elbows) and all over the bottom of the tray…:-/ wonder if I got my ratio wrong? when the kids were done I kept playing with it trying to get it to firm up just a bit to put in container for them but it just wasn’t working out…hmmm

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      Oh no! I am not sure what must have happened. We have made this so many times and yet I am not sure what wasn’t working. I was looking through the post I wrote and was wondering if you rinsed off the slime? If you did this too early – it might have caused the slime not to really set properly. I only rinse it off and then pat it dry when it is completely working right but seems a bit ucky to me. Did you use the same products I used too? Don’t give up, keep trying – I know it works:)

  16. Kerrie Gagnon March 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    I tried it again today with the white glue and store bought liquid starch and it worked perfectly.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      I am so excited to hear that Kerrie! I do think it works more consistently using the white glue. The clear glue can be a little iffy – even thought I did have success with it – I always have success with the white glue!

  17. Paulette March 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I think I am doing something wrong…my slime is not gelling…
    am I mixing too much?
    not enough starch?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Paulette, no you can’t mix too much! You will to kneed with your hands as well. Perhaps too much starch – I really don’t know. Can you describe what you are using and how much for me? I just have never had a problem so I would have to learn more from you about what you are using and doing to see if I can figure it out for you!

      • Paulette March 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm

        I have tried a couple different things now…
        The first time I tried I made my own liquid starch as follows…
        2 cups of cold water and a tablespoon of corn starch…
        I used 1 tube of elmer’s clear glue, and used 2/3 of the glue bottle of this home made starch. It didn’t gel.

        The second time, a friend gave me a different starch recipe.
        boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pan
        in a mug, combine 3 teaspoons of cornstarch, and 3 table spoons of cold water.
        Once the water has boiled, slowly add the cornstarch mixture and stir for 1 minute.
        Cool to room temperature.
        Then again…I followed your instructions.
        – 1 tube of clear elmers
        – 2/3 tube of liquid starch
        Still didn’t gel.

        Maybe I’ll try less starch?

  18. Paulette March 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Just tried 1 part starch 2 and 3 parts glue, and it did the same thing

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      Hi Paulette – here is another recipe that you might consider trying. I have only used liquid starch already made and not homemade so I don’t know what the difference is. Check this link and see if it helps… http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/glue-borax-gak

      • Paulette March 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

        Thank you.
        I am going to go out tomorrow and try and find some liquid starch to buy…and maybe try it with white glue.
        I’ll let you know how it goes.

  19. Wendy March 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Where do you get your bowls and trays? I’m not finding any at my local stores.

  20. Meryl Rubin March 18, 2012 at 11:56 am - Reply

    What size glue? How many ounces per child? Looks fun. We made with Borax and it is slimey at first, but ends up hardening too much. Can’t wait to try this.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      It is one part glue per one part liquid starch. The amount you use depends on the number of children you are making this for and how much you want them to play with so there really isn’t a specific amount I can give you.

  21. Anna D. April 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Something that we do a lot in my class when we make this is to add shaving cream! The shaving cream makes the gak a bit more fluffy and adds the ‘clean’ shaving cream scent! My class loves mixing the shaving cream into the gak!

  22. Darcie April 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Hey Deborah! We made your rainbow slime today in class. Generally I try these little experiments out on my own kids first, just to be sure they work. This time I jumped in and let the preschoolers give it a go.
    We did just as you did and it was so much fun! Just for fun we had half the kids use the clear glue and the other half use regular glue. I personally loved the clear colors but the children didn’t care. It was fun to show how we could see through the clear colored ones and we could not see through the regular glue ones.
    I think the kids would have played with this stuff the entire day. Alas, after almost 90 minutes of fun, it was time to move on; But only after I promised that we would play with it again tomorrow AND that they could take some home at the end of the week. (parents permission of course!!)
    Even my 2 “Anti-Messy” kids loved mixing up this concoction.
    I sincerely appreciate the time you take to share your God-Given talents with the rest of us!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      You Rock! I love that you just jumped in and gave it a try. My kids were asking if we could make it again the other day. I am thinking I am going to have to offer a week of old favorites and let my class choose what they want to do for an entire day and I am sure the slime will be at the top of the list. Thank you for letting me know that it went so well – I am always so disappointed when someone can’t get it to work. It seems the best way to get it to work is to hand it over to the kids and let them play with it! Thank you so much – I love, love, love it!

  23. Krissy April 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Wow! This is so much fun! I am 45 , I saw this and had to go right out and buy the ingredients. My 11 yr old daughter is ALWAYS buying the store bought slime and FLARP. I knew she would get a real kick out of making her own and she LOVED it! So did I for that matter! We used the clear glue which like you said made the colors more vivid and you can see through the slime. We used the neon food coloring and even mixed a couple of colors together to get non primary colors. We tried filled the glue bottle almost 3/4 of the way and there was definately too much starch to where it really didn’t firm up the way it should (but still worked fine). Then our second batch, we filled around 2/3 full, and that was the ticket. It was exactly like the store bought but prettier!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, we will be buying stock now for liquid starch and glue! Lol. I am going to try with the regular glue next time!! Well, off to go play with the slime right now!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:29 pm - Reply

      Isn’t it amazing? I love that you went out to get the ingredients and gave it a try with your daughter! Super cool MOM! And you are right – 2/3 full is much better!

  24. Maru Cantu Saenz August 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    I love it!!!!! thanks

  25. Maureen January 7, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Hi Deborah…. This is really cool stuff. I have made a variety of slime for my preschool class as well. We made your princess slime and put it into individual mason jars for our science & art shelves. The children use it when ever they want. It has kept well during normal school days, but after a break, It does get too slimy if not played with.

    Keep up sharing your ideas, they are awesome & I LOVE your background. I feel children really DO learn best through play, I agree. Many times I just sit back and watch & listen.

  26. Claire January 8, 2017 at 11:57 am - Reply

    This looks great! Do you have any slime recipes without liquid starch? I don’t have liquid starch at home.

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