Making Glurch (or Oobleck)

This stuff is so fun, so easy, and so non-messy! If you are stuck inside on a cold winter day, make some of this with your kids for hours of play! We love to make GLURCH or OOBLECK (from Dr. Seuss).
In a small bowl mix:
  • 1 cup glue (8 oz. about 2 regular sizes of Elmer’s glue)
  • 3/4 cup water

In a large bowl mix

  • 1 tsp. “20-mule-team BORAX” (I found this in the cleaning section at Home Depo. I haven’t seen it at every store.)
  • 1/2 cup Hot water (I microwaved it for about 1 min.)
POUR GLUE MIXTURE over BORAX MIXTURE. Let sit for a minute and gently stir. Pour off any excess water. **If you add food coloring, add it right away and mix in thoroughly for best results.
This stuff is great! It sticks to itself, yet it is not sticky. It is a bit slimy, but not too slimy. After playing with it, your hands are left clean-maybe a touch wet- but nothing sticks to your hands. It cleans up really well and you can’t beat it.  However if it dries to a hard surface, such as tile, it may take a bit of scrubbing to get it off.  It can be stored in the refrigerator. We love it! ENJOY!


  1. 10

    I made it in my class it is fun and easy to make I reccomend it.

  2. 11

    I was the first one who commented on the Borax, so I want to apologize if I stirred up a hornet’s nest. You’ll note, I didn’t say it’s too dangerous for kids to play with, just that it shouldn’t be given to children who still put stuff in their mouths.

    For what it’s worth, even if ingested I don’t think it would kill a child, but could make them sick. It’s not a matter for fear, just common sense… keep away from tiny tots, and maybe have kids wash hands after playing if you’re worried.

    I only made the comment because I know in my house it’s easy to forget that what we give the four year old to play with often ends up on the floor where the one year old can find it.

  3. 12

    Will have to try this… Thanks

  4. 13

    A little bit of clarification on Borax v.s. Boric Acid.
    Here are some facts, plus what it states on the Borax box. Hopefully this will be helpful information:)
    The Box states: Caution: “Contains sodium tetraborate decahydrate. Avoide contact with eyes. Do not take internally. FIRST AID: in eyes: Rinse with water for 15 minutes. If irritation persists, contact a physician. INGESTION: Rinse mouth, give a large glassful of water or milk. Do not induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately. ”
    Now we are talking about 1 tsp. diluted in water and glue in the glurch. Not straight Borax Laundry Soap.
    The National Pesticide Information Center, talks about Boric Acid- not Borax Laundry Soap-which is what is used in the glurch. It lists products containing Boric Acid, and does not list Borax laundry soap- although derived from the same natural ingredients, they are very different. The website, gives many tests that were done including some done on children— with Boric Acid- not Borax Laundry Soap. You are welcome to read about Boric Acid, and see that it is not as toxic- in very small amounts- as some have stated. BUT in this case, we are talking about BORAX LAUNDRY SOAP…which is very different (and only one teapsoon). I think there may have been a little confusion 😉 The website with many studies, on Boric Acid (not Borax Laundry soap as used in this activity) is:

  5. 14

    Yes, Borax is toxic. But it’s only a teaspoon in like 1.25 cups of water and 1 cup of essentially harmless Elmer’s glue. I’d let my son play with it with no worries. Like a previous poster said: They’d have to eat the whole mess to get enough Borax that is likely less the amount needed to kill a rat. At that point, I think the 1 cup of glue in their stomach would cause more problems than the slight bit of Borax.

    But some people prefer a purely organic / non-toxic approach, and I can respect that too. Personally, I ‘m going to try this out, because I know my 4 year old will have a blast with it and he’s really good about not putting stuff in his mouth (Actually he is way TOO good at not it, come supper time). 😛

  6. 15

    Being that I wrote this post, and made the Glurch, I just thought I would comment for all the concerned people 🙂
    I have never and would never give this stuff to a child under the age of 3. (I thought that was common sense- so I apologize for not being more clear in the post.) I have made this multiple times when teaching school and never had a child eat it. There is only 1 tsp. of Borax in the recipe. It is mostly glue and water. I have read the contents on the box and am very well aware of what Borax has in it. There are many things out there that could be toxic to children- as the last comment said, even toothpaste if ingested- in large quantities. 🙂 Baby oil, or baby lotion or other similiar products could also be toxic if ingested in large quanities! Please know that I would never do anything that could be lethal and dangerous to children. Through my experience, this Glurch has proven to be safe with children three and older. As a educated, smart, concerned, careful mother, I would never give something like this to children under three- just as I wouldn’t give a one year old playdough, just as I wouldn’t give them anything at all that could be the least bit harmful to them! Also- I play with my children when they are playing with Glurch- they are very supervised all the time. I have the poison control center local phone number on my fridge, and I have never had to use it- but I am always prepared. Relax, enjoy your children, play with them, and most importantly, Have Fun!

  7. 16

    There is no reliable information given on the lethal dose (unless you think is reliable) of borax in humans.

    The LD50 (median lethal dose) score is tested at 2.66 g/kg in rats, which means that 15-20 grams might be enough to kill a 10lb rat (I know that people and rats are different, but it is still something to consider).

    To top that off, you aren’t giving the kids straight-up borax to play with. Only 1 teaspoon of the mixture is composed of borax… or, about 1/110 of the recipe.

    I’m not sure how much 1 teaspoon of borax weighs, but I’m willing to guess that it is less than 15 grams. Even if it did weigh 15 grams, the kid would have to consume over 2 cups of Glurch.

    I hope the concerned people don’t look up the toxicity of things like toothpaste. 😉

  8. 17

    Borax is toxic and a danger to children!! A cornstarch mixture can provide a lot of fun with a lot less risk!! Here is some info on Borax:
    May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscular spasms, dullness, lethargy, circulatory depression, central nervous system depression, shock, kidney damage, coma, and death. Estimated lethal dose 15 to 20 grams.

  9. 18

    Bear in mind that Borax is toxic, so don’t give this stuff to children who haven’t outgrown putting things in their mouths!

  10. 19

    You can also make this with cornstarch and water. I don’t remember the proportions, but more cornstarch than water – just play with the proportions. If the mixture becomes dry through handling, just add a touch more water. Kids of all ages love this stuff. One word of warning, if you add food coloring, the Oobleck with stain hands and clothes.