Children love to make and play with slime – a colourful, gooey, slippery substance made from craft glue, water, food colouring and borax.
It quickly found its way into primary schools as its popularity soared, and at least one school on the Coast has now implemented a ban.
For Dairy Flat School principal Debbie Marshall, slime is a dirty word. She says hygiene is her biggest issue with slime, which is why the school recently banned it.
She says as children pass it from hand to hand, it becomes filthy and a source of germs. Some slime is perfumed, which encourages children to sniff it and then pass it on.
At the school, there have been ownership disputes and a number of students play with slime in class.
Debbie says for some children, playing with a toy manually assists their learning, but she prefers fidget spinners or squishy toys be used for that purpose.
She says slime was enormously popular towards the end of last year, so the school has been quick to stamp on it now, asking parents to ensure their children don’t bring it to school.
Dairy Flat School appears to be unusual in the area in banning slime –five other local schools that the paper canvassed said they do not find the substance a problem and do not have a ban in place.
Holiday slime factory
Estuary Arts Centre in Orewa is offering two Potions Lotions and Goo sessions, which include slime making, with Sam McClure during the school holidays. Both are on Tuesday, April 17 with one targeting 5-8 year olds and the other for children aged nine and older. Info: www.estuaryarts.org
Twelve-year-old Milan Lubbe spent many hours in the family’s Stanmore Bay kitchen experimenting with recipes to make the perfect slime – stretchy, not too sticky or hard and lightly scented. The dining table is often covered with slime ingredients while a batch is underway. The Kingsway School student says it took six months of trial and error, which included microwaving toothpaste and using shampoo, before she found the right combination. The type of glue used is key, and she imports hers from Australia. Milan’s recipe is a trade secret but includes non-toxic glue and non-toxic paint as well as borax (which can be toxic if ingested in large doses). Candle fragrance is added – everything from watermelon to gingerbread scents. She says children love it because it’s fun to make into shapes, feels good and can be a stress reliever. She recommends washing your hands before and after playing with it – and not giving it to boys, with their dirty hands! Milan sells her slime at markets and via her Slime Diva website.