Gluep: Solid or Liquid? Activity

3.9 based on 26 ratings
Updated on May 9, 2014

If water is a liquid and wood is a solid, than what in the world is Gluep? First grade science often explores the differences between liquids and solids, which can be fun but might get a little predictable after awhile. Use this activity to shake things up a bit! Get your hands messy with Gluep, a nontoxic goopy substance made easily out of only glue, water, and borax detergent. It's a fascinating project, and your child will definitely have fun playing with the Gluep since sometimes it behaves like a liquid and other times it behaves like a solid!

What You Need:

  • Borax laundry detergent (found in most detergent aisles)
  • White glue
  • Water
  • 1 mixing spoon
  • 2 bowls
  • Measuring spoons
  • Plastic sandwich bags

What You Do:

  1. Help your child measure 1 teaspoon of borax and 6 tablespoons of water into one bowl. Hand her a spoon and let her stir up the mixture until the detergent has dissolved.
  2. In the second bowl, measure 1 tablespoon of glue and 1 tablespoon of water and mix. (If you're using this as a party activity, use 1/2 cup of glue, 1/4 cup of borax, and 4 cups of water so there's enough Gluep to go around!)
  3. Invite your child to pour the borax mixture into the glue mixture, and mix them up until they form a stiff lump.
  4. Take the lump out of the bowl and knead it for a couple minutes, and you've got Gluep!
  5. As your child plays with her Gluep, encourage her to tell you how it looks and feels. Try to discover if it's a liquid or a solid together by doing these little experiments:
  • Have your child roll the Gluep into a ball and place it on her palm or a flat surface. Does it stay in the shape of a ball?
  • Drop the Gluep ball onto a clean tabletop. What happens to it?
  • Roll the Gluep into a cylinder, and pull the ends slowly. What happens to the cylinder? Roll it into a cylinder again but this time pull the ends fast. What happens now?
  1. When your child is done playing with the Gluep for the day, keep it stored in a plastic sandwich bag and put it in the fridge.
  2. When you want to throw it away, be sure that you do not pour the mixture down the drain! Let it dry in or outside of the plastic bag and then toss it in the garbage. In the meantime, have fun playing with the Gluep! This project is a really fun way to get your child interested physical science, and will boost her observations skills, too!
Latrenda Knighten has spent 19 years teaching in a variety of elementary school classrooms, from kindergarten through fifth grade. For nine of those years, she taught kindergarten. She also served as an elementary school math and science specialist. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.