Adventures in Wonderlab

Adventures in Wonderlab

Fun science adventures for all ages!

Homemade Floam 2 Ways


Have you heard of floam? Floam is a moldable substance filled with foam beads, making it a very unique sensory experience. I think of it as an alternative to Play Doh, since it can be squished, molded, and used to form any creation.

Last week, we spotted polystyrene beads at Hobby Lobby (in their new “slime section”!), and decided to use them to make our own homemade version of floam. First, we made “floam slime” and then we followed a recipe for the original floam.

Slime Floam

We went with my favorite slime recipe, using just glue and starch, except this time we added lots of polystyrene beads.

Slime Floam ingredients

We mixed 1/4 cup Elmer’s glue, 1/4 cup water, a few drops of food coloring, and 3/4 cup polystyrene beads. Mix with a spoon, so you do not get food coloring on your hands.

Stir together all ingredients for slime floam

Then, stir in 1/2 cup of starch – the slime maker. Stir for a couple of minutes, and then get your hands in the slime, and knead it.

Gooey Slime Floam

After a couple of minutes, the floam slime stiffens up a bit, and you can really stretch and play with this super-weird and fun slime!

Slime Floam after kneading

Original Floam

I looked online to find a couple of homemade floam recipes. I found that it is very similar to slime recipes! All the floam recipes I searched included Borax, so that is what we used. Floam ingredients include: Borax, water, glue, food coloring, and polystyrene beads.

Floam ingredients

One beautiful thing about this recipe is that all ingredients go into a ziploc bag to be mixed. You will need two bowls, and 1 ziploc bag.

In the first bowl, dissolve 2 tsp. Borax with 1/2 cup warm water.

In the second bowl, mix 1/4 cup Elmer’s glue, 1/4 cup water, and a few drops of food coloring.

In the ziploc bag, add 1 1/3 cup polystyrene beads.

Put all floam ingredients in a ziploc bag

Now, pour the contents of both bowls (the dissolved Borax, and the glue mixture) into the ziploc bag containing the beads. Mix and squish it up.

Knead floam in ziploc bag

After a few minutes of squishing the ziploc bag, remove the floam (it will still be a bit gloopy), and knead it until you can form a ball like the picture below.

Ball of floam

Now it is ready for play! My children LOVED cutting the floam. I thought it was a great way for them to practice knife-cutting skills, and they spent hours pretending they had a “sushi restaurant”, cutting up their sushi rolls.

Sliced floam

A Quick Note about the “Mess”

Because I love my dear readers, I will be totally honest with you. The floam is messy. We’ve played with store-bought floam before without issue, but with this homemade floam, the beads can pop out of the floam during play. My kids are very responsible about cleaning up after themselves, but if “messy” is an issue for you, I would recommend sticking with the floam slime, or even fluffy slime!

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