Slime and putty. Parents hate it, kids love it. Whatever your stance, the recent explosion of slime sensory toys and the ‘make your own thinking putty’ craze has meant this stuff is everywhere. The back of your sofa, the ceiling, every page of youtube and all over this year’s London Toy Fair. This huge fad has been driven by kids loving gloopy, wibbly wobbly sensory stuff, and quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that! So get your scientist googles on, we’re about to delve into what thinking putty is, and mix some of our own!
What is thinking putty?
Thinking putty is not slime. It’s a far more mouldable material, that can be snapped, popped, bounced, stretched and torn.
Warning, scientific stuff ahead! Thinking, bouncing or silly putty, whatever you want to call it, is a bizarre material. It flows like a liquid, but bounces like a solid. It can float in liquid and even be torn! The scientific word for this type of material, is a ‘non-newtonian fluid’. This is because of super special ingredients called viscoelastic agents (liquid viscous stuff + elastic stretchy stuff) that give it these amazing properties. It’s for this reason you need to keep your putty in it’s tin, otherwise it’ll flow away over night! Other examples of non-newtonian liquids are things like ketchup, toothpaste and blood! Every one’s seen that video of a man running over a swimming pool of custard, right? Yuck, I think I’d rather just play with putty.
Where does thinking putty come from?
Most people will have heard of Silly Putty, originally invented during World War II as a rubber replacement. Though it wasn’t what the scientists wanted, it let a whole generation of kids in the 60’s experience a new sensory tactile toy. Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, is the next big leap in putty, with his improved secret formulas bringing putty to the kids (and adults) of today, with a whole host of improvements!
For those of you who don’t know, Crazy Aaron is a real person in America that has made putty long before the recent craze. Though we’d probably use the word mad genius, rather than crazy, due to the huge variety of awesome putties this maverick has made. There’s magnetic putty, colour changing putty, glow in the dark putty and many more!
What’s in the box?
This holographic putty kit is all about letting kids mix their OWN putty, to create awesome colour combos, with sparkles, glitter and holographic flecks stirred in. For those of you at home who haven’t made your own slime or putty yet, this is a great place to start. There’s no messing about with chemicals like borax – you only need to mix the safe pre-made putties together! The glitter is even in the putty already, so even less mess.
The colour mixing is made easy for kids, using the colour mixing guide, and it even includes a measuring chart to help. It uses a scientific scale that runs from ‘a smidge’ all the way up to ‘a heap.’ You can roll a ball and compare it to the sizes on the chart.
All you need is a bit of inspiration or blind luck. You really can’t go wrong by just mixing it together in different ways! Though beware, you may discover a lovely brownish sparkly mess if you just mix all of it together. We’d recommend starting simple by mixing two primaries together, until kids get the hang of it. I mixed magenta and cyan together, with a helping of holo-izer for a shimmering dark purple.
Once you’ve made your custom putty it’s important that kids name their creation and decorate the lid to match the interior. The colouring pencils have soft leads and give a nice bright colour. Coming up with an inspirational name is half the fun! I called my putty colour ‘nebula’. Kids can make 5 different tins of putty with this kit, each to their own design.
One of our customers sent us a picture of their putty made from the Glow kit! Check out those great colour names! We’d love to see what you come up with!
Once you’ve made it what can you do with thinking putty?
Putty is great for:
- Moulding – use it as a modelling toy, once you’re finished, it just squishes back into the tin!
- Stress and anxiety relief – Thinking Putty can be used like a squeezy toy or stress ball to soothe both the muscles and the mind. Nervous energy can be quietly released by moulding and tearing the putty.
- Improving hand strength and dexterity – Repetitive movements are great for developing tactile perception and fine motor skills.
- Stimming – Putty can be a great replacement stimming activity for autistic children, or for children with ADHD to express some of that fidgety energy.