A squishy and fun take on rainbow slime, this Waterbead Slime is a slippery, textured slime recipe that kids will love.
DIY Waterbead Slime Recipe
Waterbeads have long been one of my favorite sensory materials – and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to add them to another favorite sensory material: slime!
I knew adding waterbeads to our slime would add an amazing bumpy texture to the slime, but I wasn’t sure if it was actually going to work! Since the waterbeads are so smooth, they really have nothing for the slime to grip to. Pom poms would be a better way to achieve that pretty polka dot effect (and we’ve had success using pom poms before) but my daughter actually really liked how the waterbeads would “pop” out of this slime as she was playing with it – and they add a pretty, iridescent effect to this clear slime.
(Not all of the waterbeads fall out – if you watch the video below you will see that most of the waterbeads stay in the slime, but the more you play with it, some will fall out.)
Playing overtop of a container or outside will reduce any frustration you may have about bouncing waterbeads. The waterbeads are plant-safe (a lot of people actually use them to keep plants hydrated while travelling) so if some get lost in the grass, it’s totally fine!
I loved the contrast in squishy textures the waterbead slime provides – the beads have more resistance and bounce while the slime is softer and more easily manipulated.
Even my one daycare child that doesn’t usually like slime enjoyed poking at this slime when I laid some out on the table in front of him. (Picking it up was still too messy for him.)
Do I need borax to make waterbead slime? You can use any slime recipe you’d like to make the base slime – clear slime, borax slime, contact solution slime, etc. You can even use a colored glue to make this slime even more vibrant.
We made a clear glue slime, and you’ll notice that the more we play with and knead the slime, the more opaque it becomes from the tiny air bubbles that are formed. The slime will return to being clear when left in an airtight container overnight, and then will regain it’s opaqueness as it’s played with again. You can point this chemical change out to the kids and ask them to observe or guess why this is happening.
I think it would be super cute to pair this polka dot slime with Robert Lopshire’s Put Me in the Zoo picture book or The Dot by Peter H Reynolds. You can also change up the color scheme to make a leopard slime, Dalmatian slime, etc.
Slime can require a bit of experimentation and patience, especially if you’re still new to it. If you run into any slime fails, check out this troubleshooting post to help fix your slime.
Check out our quick video for how to make this fun butter slime recipe – and see it in action, then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe:
If you’re looking for the ultimate slime guide – you need to check out our Slime Book with over 40 amazing, unique slimes:
Waterbead Slime Ingredients
- Liquid Starch, as needed <– can use 5 Tablespoons of contact solution instead
- Hydrated Waterbeads
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: You can make this slime with clear or white glue for different effects.
Tip #2: The waterbeads will try to escape your slime – just knead them back in. Playing overtop of a container will prevent them from rolling everywhere. They are safe for plants – many people use waterbeads to help water plants while they are on vacation, so playing outside and letting the waterbeads fall onto the grass is safe.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Spoon or Spatula
How to Make Waterbead Slime
Place your waterbeads in a cup of water and set aside to hydrate. It will take up to an hour.
When the waterbeads are fully hydrated, drain out the excess water and start making your slime.
Place your glue in a separate bowl and mix in ½ cup of waterbeads, adding more as desired.
Add in ¼ cup of liquid starch and when a cohesive ball of slime forms, start kneading.
Knead for 2 minutes, adding in more liquid starch as needed.
Grab your free printable for our easy waterbead slime recipe:
- 1 cup glue
- ½ cup liquid starch (can use 5 Tablespoons of contact solution instead)
- 1 cup hydrated waterbeads (¼ teaspoon dehydrated)
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Spatula or spoon
- Place your waterbeads in a cup of water and set aside to hydrate. It will take up to an hour.
- When the waterbeads are fully hydrated, drain out the excess water and start making your slime.
- Place your glue in a separate bowl and mix in ½ cup of waterbeads, adding more as desired.
- Add in ¼ cup of liquid starch and when a cohesive ball of slime forms, start kneading.
- Knead for 2 minutes, adding in more liquid starch as needed.
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This gorgeous and fun waterbead slime is a great polka dot sensory activity for kids and would be perfect for playing with after reading Put Me in the Zoo or The Dot – or any spot-related book!
Check out some of our other homemade slime recipes: