This adorable DIY bouncy ball is Kelley green and a super-fun, hands-on way to add St. Patrick’s Day science to your classroom!
This St. Patrick’s Day, we’re going all out for hands-on activities. We’re focusing mainly on science, and STEM topics this year, and my kids loved their Valentine’s bouncy ball experiment so much, we decided to do a variation for St. Patrick’s Day. Find out how to make your own DIY bouncy ball and how to make it into a STEM lesson below!
Check out this list of Rainbow science experiments and St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities!
DIY Bouncy Ball: St. Patrick’s Day Science
This fun bouncy ball STEM activity is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day thanks to its bright green color!
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What you’ll need to make your DIY bouncy ball:
In the second cup, mix 4 tablespoons of hot water and 1 teaspoon of borax powder. Mix until the borax is dissolved, or else your bouncy ball will be grainy.
Add the liquid mixture to the glue cup. Stir with a fork until you can’t anymore, then take it out and squish it between your hands. There might be pockets of glue, so be careful. Keep massaging the mixture until it starts to form a ball.
Once the mixture fully hardens, you can roll it into a ball.
Try out your new ball on any hard surface! Watch as it bounces to nearly waist height.
Discuss why this ball isn’t quite as bouncy as rubber balls. Why would the glue mixture not bounce as much?
Bouncy Ball STEM (Why Balls Bounce)
Making the ball is only the first part of what makes this DIY bouncy ball experiment so interesting. What makes this project educaitonal is the math and science behind the activity. With this activity, kids are open to discussing physics, polymers, gravity, the laws of motion, and energy.
The reason these DIY bouncy balls don’t bounce as high as rubber balls is fairly complicated. Simply put, since the balls are made of a softer material, when they hit the ground, they absorb some of the reaction and bend, rather than bouncing. The more energy you expend dropping or throwing the ball, the higher it will bounce. Experiment with changing the shape of the ball or comparing bounce height to a traditional bouncy ball.