My son is 8, so I knew hearts and flowers weren't going to cut it for Valentine's Day this year.
Sure, he likes collecting candy from his classmates, but the rest of it? Ick.
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So I decided to take that reaction and run with it, designing a decidedly gross Valentine that would be fun for his friends without relying on more sugary treats. Inspiration came from a "make your own slime" science kit my son received for Christmas. The kit involved some complicated steps and chemicals, but I knew there were easier, safer versions I could use for our "Valen-slime" cards.
One of the most popular "slime" or "flubber" recipes out there involves mixing glue with Borax, but I wasn't sure the laundry additive would be safe for kids to handle. And while I assume 8-year-olds are smart enough not to eat slime, better safe than sorry. So I stuck with a simple concoction that consists of water and fiber supplement powder (Metamucil). It's easy to make, not too sticky and, if you use the "berry" variety, ends up a vibrant red color perfect for Valentine's Day.
If you're making it more than a few days ahead of time, refrigerate it to keep it from getting moldy.
While many online recipes call for using a microwave to make this slime, I found cooking it on the stovetop made it easier to monitor a large batch.
I packaged my slime in small, snack-size plastic bags and taped them to cards featuring a couple of cute aliens and the words "Be My Valenslime." I also included a note reassuring parents that the goo is nontoxic, and reminding kids that the slime is for "squishing not snacking."
• Metamucil or other powdered fiber supplement
• large saucepan
• bowl, baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet
• plastic bags or small containers to package finished slime
• "Be My Valenslime" cards, which can be downloaded at www.stitchcraftcreations.com
• double-stick tape
1. Combine 6 cups of water with 6 teaspoons of Metamucil in a large saucepan, stirring to dissolve the powder.
2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Continue to boil mixture for approximately 15-17 minutes. The mixture will decrease in volume and become thick, and will cling to a spoon if you stir it. If you turn off the heat and tilt the pan a bit, running a spoon across the bottom of the pan should leave a clear path for a few seconds. You want it to be thick but not so thick it turns solid and rubbery.
4. Pour slime into a large bowl, baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet and allow to cool. If it still seems too wet, you can return it to the saucepan and reheat.
5. Divide slime into smaller blobs. One batch will make approximately 10 portions.
6. Package slime in snack-size plastic bags and seal, squishing the slime into one side of the bag and folding the excess to the back to make a neat, square package. Print and cut cards, and tape them to the bags.
(For smaller amounts, follow the same 1 cup water to 1 teaspoon Metamucil ratio. Cooking times will be less. About 10 minutes is plenty for two cups, for example.)