A girl stirs the shampoo solution in a transparent vessel. After the foam soars, she mixes glue, a few drops of lychee flavoring, and borax into it. Before long, the liquid thickens. Thick colorful lumps are called slime.
During her vacation, Anya almost every day trying to make slime. The 9-year-old child already has four bottles of slime, each white, transparent, green, and orange. Her mother deliberately bought various materials to make slime. Starting from glue, shampoo, borax, coloring, and flavor. According to her, this activity is more useful than letting her daughters play gadget.
“Look at my slime, it’s really stretchy,” said Anya while stretching the lump of liquid in her hand. The shape is similar to a combination of several chewing gum which is finished chewing, bending drawn here and there. While making slime, Anya can struggle for hours in front of the equipment.
For Anya and many of her children, Slime is one of the favorite toys. You can check Google’s most popular search in the “how to” category. The winner is the search for “how to make slime”.
Initially, slime was made to clean dirt or dust. The slime’s flexible and sticky nature makes it easy to reach corners that are difficult to clean, for example on a laptop keyboard. In its development, the slime then turns into children’s toys.
The way to play it is very simple: pulled, squeezed, or pressed. However, don’t underestimate this toy. Slime, as written by the website of the non-profit Building All Children, is the right media to practice sensory skills. It helps children understand the five senses, namely the sense of touch, smell, vision, and hearing.
Children can learn to understand the meaning of words when playing slime. By feeling the sticky slime texture, children learn the meaning of the word “sticky”. Also other words that describe slime shapes, such as bending or springy. This activity helps children build new understanding and vocabulary.
Sensory abilities of children will also be honed through the activity of measuring slime-making materials, mixing, and cleaning them. Indirectly, children also learn how to solve a problem by finding the right composition when making a dose of material.
In addition, slime clearly honed the child’s motor skills. Playing it can strengthen the muscles of the hand through the activities of squeezing, pinching, pressing and stretching the slime. He also provides social, emotional, and self-confidence skills through the concepts of creating and designing.
Adults can also benefit from slime. In writing about squishy, Annaliese Griffin in his writing in Quartz even noted that people are now interested in toys related to the stimulation of a kind of squishy and slime feeler, including adults.
Griffin links squeezable squishy to trends in the internet age, where people realize they need something soothing. People these days face the internet in their daily lives and socialize through social media. Therefore, in general people experience loneliness, isolation, and very risky to feel lonely.
In the middle of the work, said Griffin, he could squeeze squishy as a sedative. He writes, although nothing can replace the calming power of hugs and caresses, many adults admit to liking stuffed animals, blankets and other soothing objects. If so, it’s not just squishy that you can borrow from a child, niece or sister, right? Even slime.
Be careful of Borax
Beyond its benefits to sensory abilities and to mental, you must be careful. It’s best if the kids around you avoid borax as a raw material for slime.
Kathleen Quinn (11) a child from Massachusetts, United States, shows her blistered hands and the camera. Both middle fingers and index fingers of her left hand are still wrapped in bandages. The other fingers, scaly and peeling. Quinn suffered from stage 3 burns due to exposure to chemicals while making slime.
Besides Quinn, there was another ten-year-old child who experienced a similar incident. Her name is Deejay Jemmett from Prestwich, Manchester. After playing slime, the skin on her hands began to peel off and suffer chemical burns. As a result, this girl had to face plastic surgery on her hand.
Their burns can injure the dermis, such as fat, muscles, and veins, and cause skin blisters. Healing can take months and require surgery.
After being investigated, as Live Science wrote, it turns out that the content of borax in slime is the cause. Borax or sodium borate is a compound that is widely used to make cleaning products, preservatives, etc. In the process of making slime, it makes it chewy.
The effects caused by borax are quite dangerous. If swallowed, it can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and irritation. In high doses, it even causes injury to the kidneys. Children can be exposed to borax when they eat after playing slime. Or to the extreme, children can eat slime because the aroma and shape resembles jelly.
Even so, Dr. Michael Cooper, director at the Regional Burn Center at Staten Island University Hospital in New York, said that borax actually only causes mild irritation. However, the longer the exposure, the higher the risk of injury. Other factors that might cause injury are the high number and thickness of the skin.
“And children’s skin is thinner. “High concentrations of borax eventually hurt them,” Cooper told Live Science.
But not to worry, the negative effects of slime can be minimized. You only need to sort out ingredients that are safe and limit play time. Borax which has a rubbery function can be replaced by starch or tapioca. And, don’t forget to wash your hands after completing the slime.