Instructables
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Picture of Make a Super Bouncy Ball
Welcome to my instructable, where I will tell you how to make a great little toy using a chemical reaction, and easy-to-get chemicals.
Great science-fun for kids too!

 
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Step 1: Materials needed

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This bouncy ball is made using a reaction between the two following chemicals:

- Alcohol (Ethanol) - You should be able to get this at any supermarket.
- Water glass (Sodium silicate) - Pretty easy to find at ceramic supply stores drug stores and hardware stores. I buy mine for about 3$ per 1/2 litre.

You will also need:

- Disposable rubber gloves
- 2 small beakers
- Popsicle stick

... and that's it! Now that wasn't so bad at all, was it?

Step 2: Mixing!

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Start by measuring 4 tsp. of water glass into one beaker, and 1 tsp. of alcohol into the other.
Then pour the alcohol into the beaker with water glass and start stirring immediately with the popsicle.

A white solid should start to appear in the mixture, and within a minute or two it should be all solid.

Step 3: Squeeze it!

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Scrape out the polymer, and form it with your hands. You should wear gloves, because water glass may be irritating to the skin.

Keep squeezing and be patient. Squeeze and shape it in a ball shape until the ball appears dry un the surface and doesn't crumble.

Step 4: Done!

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Now the only thing left to do is use it!
Bounce it, juggle it etc.

The bouncy ball should be stored in a plastic bag, and if it breaks or gets distorted, just squeeze it back together into a ball shape.

And for a pink bouncy ball you can use phenolphthalein instead of alcohol. The only thing is, that it is not as easy available.
jpetty13 years ago
does it dry? If I add 4 cups to 1 cup will i get a bouncy ball?
maxthecat15 years ago
my bouncy ball breaks very easily. how can i get it so it doesn't break apart? and it also dries out quickly. I am using rubbing alcohol instead of ethanol. is that the problem?
Tenn7 years ago
I made this with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students for a teaching project in AP Chemistry. After asking my Chemistry teacher whether it would kill me or not, and getting the inconclusive answer of; "No, but -I- wouldn't," I licked it. I'm still in tip-top shape. :)
paulapaula7 years ago
This is just a little question. are the materials you're using safe and non-toxic? And what is the appropriate age for this bouncy ball?