Slime may seem like a very simple toy and not very educational, but the reality is that slime can be used to promote creativity, motor skill development, basic reading skills, and more! It can be used by children over the age of 4 and well into adulthood. You may find that slime helps keep you focused or even helps your elderly grandmother with dementia stay calm when she starts to get fidgety!
Another great thing about slime is that there are so many varieties of it! Some slime feels “fluffy” and soft, while other slime is cold and slimy like the name implies. Some slime is stiff like putty, but it can also be oozy and drippy. It comes in a wide variety of colors to choose from, and sometimes it contains glitter or other fun items to excite the senses of sight and touch. There’s no end to the possibilities when you’ve got a big glob of slime on your hands!
Check out the list below to learn about 10 amazing ways kids and adults can use slime! If you’re in the market for a good slime, check out some of GreaterGood’s slimiest products here and here and here! Every purchase raises funds for research and therapy for kids on the autism spectrum!
1. Basic reading and math skills
Slime can be easily shaped into letters and numbers so kids can show their parents and teachers what they know about their ABCs and 123s and begin spelling short words. Alphabet-shaped toys (like alphabet refrigerator magnets, for example) can also be used to make imprints in the slime to spell words. Spelling and math are way more fun in slime than they are on paper!
2. Motor skill development
One of the most important skills learned in childhood is motor skills. Being able to move your muscles in the appropriate ways is vital to being able to perform all sorts of tasks from writing and typing to playing an instrument to driving a car and so many things in between. Playing with slime won’t feel like work, but it can help kids develop their motor skills.
Slime is helpful to any child who hasn’t fully developed their motor skills, but it’s particularly helpful for children with developmental disabilities or for people of all ages who have lost motor abilities to a traumatic injury or an illness.
3. Learning about light
Slime can be opaque, translucent, or transparent. Children can put their slime in front of a flashlight or on top of a light table to learn about the way light works and how some objects allow that light through, while others block or reflect it. That’s some slimy science!
Try our Compound Kings™ Avalanche Jar to discover how light travels through translucent slime but not through the opaque objects embedded in it!
4. Calming fidgety hands
Slime is an excellent fidget toy for people who always need to be doing something with their hands in order to help them sit still and stay calm. You may think fidget toys are just for energetic children, but they can also be very useful in helping adults focus and keeping seniors with dementia calm when they’re feeling restless and agitated. Try discreetly playing with slime during your next conference call or bring some to an elderly family member who needs something easy to do with their hands.
5. Treasure hunt
What’s more fun than a treasure hunt? A treasure hunt made of slime! Try folding some letter and number shapes into a glob of slime so that your child can reach in and discover the individual pieces and try to identify each one. This can be done with shapes and items of different colors too. Whatever your child is working on learning!
Some slime is even edible so very young kids can use it to learn their ABCs and 123s without their parents worrying about them swallowing their new educational toy.
6. Sensory play
Sensory play refers to any type of activity that engages the senses. This type of play can be used to help teach kids more about the way the world in which they live works, and it can also be used as a calming or energizing technique for children who need specific types of stimulation.
All children can benefit from sensory play, but children with autism and sensory sensitivities are particularly in need of this type of activity. The squishiness of slime and the other textures of anything you add to the slime can provide stimulation for the sense of touch, while the color and shininess of slime excite the eyes. You can even add scented food coloring or essential oils to stimulate your child’s sense of smell.
7. Slime in a bag
For very small children, especially if the slime you have on hand is inedible, try putting your slime and some small objects inside a couple of clear plastic bags and zipping them shut tightly. The child can still mush the slime around for the sensory benefits and discover the little objects inside as they go, but you won’t have to worry about the mess or the possibility of the slime being ingested.
8. Basic pre-writing skills
For children who know their letters and numbers but haven’t learned to write them yet, parents can help them practice “pre-writing” activities with slime to help them understand the way writing works. Kids can work on creating vertical and horizontal lines, circles, and cross shapes out of slime. Understanding these shapes and how they’re created and put together to form letters will help kids immensely when they’re learning to write.
9. Promoting creativity
One of the best things about slime is that it’s a very open-ended toy, which promotes creativity. You can do almost anything with it! Encourage your child to get creative and use different colors of slime to create anything they want! Maybe it’s a hat. Maybe it’s a flower. Maybe it’s an artistic rendering of the family dog.
Encourage your child to experiment with their slime. Try cutting the slime with safety scissors. Or maybe put it in the freezer for a few minutes and see how that changes the texture of it. Try taping it to a wall. Stretch it as far as it will go. Use it as a jump rope. See what happens when you mix two different colors together. You’ll be surprised at the ideas kids come up with!
10. Adulting with slime
We’ve mentioned a couple of ways adults can use slime, but did you know there is a wide variety of life hacks you can accomplish with slime? That’s right! You can use it as putty to stick things to the wall. You can make a soft pillow out of it by putting it into a plastic bag (like the type of bag sheet sets often come in). You can use it to get crumbs out of your keyboard or cupholder or other nooks and crannies. Throw a string of it like a life-preserver to grab small items that are out of reach. Use a big glob of sturdy slime as a doorstop, a pen-holder, or whatever else your heart desires!
With so many ways to use it, slime is the perfect gift for pretty much anyone on your list. Luckily, no matter what kind of slime you’re looking for, GreaterGood has you covered. Check out our 3-pound bucket of gold or purple slime, an “Avalanche Jar” of pink slime filled with squishy spheres, or our moldable clear clay! We also have pink glitzy slime with sequins and buckets of teal or pink fluffy slime! And if you’re in the mood for mixing your own clay instead of using the ready-made stuff, try our colorful bead-filled slime kit!
With so many kinds to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect one.
You can’t beat some of the deep discounts currently available on our slime; most of our slime products are half price! Plus, a portion of your purchase will be donated to charity, so it’s a win-win!
What will you do with your slime?
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?