DIY Therapy Putty




Therapy putty is a useful aid for occupational therapists. It can be used to strengthen weak muscles, improve fine motor function, and even act as a cognitive activity in some cases. For a fun and easy fine motor exercise, add beads to the putty and try to use only one hand to remove them! Therapy putty can be made easily and cheaply with household items available at any grocery store for a low cost.


  • Borax (1 tsp.)
  • White glue (8 oz.)
  • Water (1 3/4 cup)
  • 2 disposable silverware/popsicle sticks
  • Air-tight container
  • 2 large mixing bowls


  • Food coloring
  • Beads


Approximately $10


Approximately 11 minutes

Step 1:

    • Mix 3/4 cup water and 8 oz. of white glue (I used 2 bottles of Elmer's school glue) into a large bowl
      • If you use two, 4 oz. bottles of Elmer's school glue, that is the exact measurement.
      • Be sure to scrape all the glue out of the containers.

    Step 2:

    • Stir with plastic utensil/popsicle stick until mixture appears uniformly smooth and white.

    Step 3:

    • In the other bowl, mix 1 cup water and 1 tsp. Borax.

    Step 4:

    • With a new utensil, vigorously stir the mixture until the Borax powder is completely dissolved.
      • This takes a few minutes for all the powder to dissolve.

    Step 5:

    • Slowly pour the Borax/water mixture into the bowl with the glue/water mixture.

    Step 6: (Optional)

    • Add food coloring if desired.
      • Food coloring might stain your hands.

    Step 7:

    • Mix together with hands until a ball of putty forms.
      • Using your hands is the best way to complete this step.
      • This step is a little bit messy!

    Step 8:

    • Knead the putty until all excess water is absorbed.
      • This takes a few minutes for all the water to absorb.

    Step 9:

    • Place putty in a large air-tight container for storage (I used GLAD large round 6 cup container).

    Step 10:

    • Place putty in the refrigerator for longer use.
      • Putty should harden slightly after being refrigerated.



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      6 Discussions


      2 years ago

      We've done this with an after school program before and it was a big hit :)