Arts and Crafts Fail: A Story of Slime


It was a gray, rainy Saturday afternoon; the baby was napping, and my two girls refused to be entertained by Disney princesses or the good clean fun of coloring books. No, they had an appetite for some sort of creative (i.e. messy) fun. But alas, therein lies the problem; I am an admitted failure at creative inside fun. Outside I’m the queen of walks and fairy stories and insect identification and swing pushing. Inside…not so much. I have thousands of fun crafts pinned to my Pinterest board and have done exactly NONE of them. Possibly it’s because I prefer neat and clean inside the house. Yes, I’ve seen the meme about a messy house is full of love. Yes, that’s lovely… for someone else. Not for me. Feel free to be as messy as you want, as long as it’s outside.

So, I decided today was the day I conquer my fear of making a mess inside. First, I consult Pinterest (of course). What can we do? My girls love getting their hands dirty, and sensory play is all the rage now. Of course! Slime! This should be easy.

Too many options!

Wow. There are a lot of slime options on Pinterest. Glow-in-the-Dark, Edible, Glitter, Heat Changing Color, Ocean Swirl. Good grief. How does one choose?!  And of course I don’t have half the ingredients. Damn. All of a sudden I remember an impulse purchase from Christmastime.  Mama doesn’t need homemade slime when she has it ready made in a box. Just add water! Score!

Slime Box
What the box doesn’t say. “Warning: The slime will stick to every surface it comes in contact with…permanently.”

Lucy, who is six, immediately began to read the promises on the colorful box.

“Oh my GOSH! Make your own slime! Easy to make! Mom this is SO cool! Squish, pick and pull gobbledygook! Ahhh! This is the best day EVER!”

I feel like the most awesome mom. The cool mom. We’re doing a super fun, and even messy, inside activity. The baby is still sleeping, we’ve got at least and hour and a half to play and clean up. I’ve so got this.

My girls sit eagerly at our counter and not-so-patiently wait as I read the instructions. Two large bowls. Half the slime powder in each. Warm water. Stir. Easy. Wow. This is very slimy, isn’t it?

It was fun for quite awhile and I have to admit, I was patting myself on the back at this point. It was a shiny, gooey, stretchy mess and they loved it. They made slimy soup and had a slimy tea party. They put a ton of plastic dinosaur toys into their bowls and pretended they were at the pool.  It stretched and it smeared; it was glossy and colorful. They were delighted. Then I noticed it was about time for the baby to wake up, and the slime was spreading everywhere. Time to clean up! That’s when it all went awry…

Now, I was thinking the slime would just kind of peel off of whatever surface it was on–skin, toys, counters and chairs. I mean a TOY manufacturer has got to make this kid activity fairly easy to clean up. “Put it back in the bowls,” I told them. They both held their hands up laughing. The slime remained, sliding slowly down their arms, spreading onto my chairs and the counters. They tried pulling the slime off each other’s arms. To their delight the slime held fast.

The first 5 minutes of the slime, before it took over. It looks innocent. Don’t let it fool you. There are only no more pictures because it quickly went downhill from here.

At this point the slime seemed to be traveling to their faces and into their hair. This was escalating quickly. I called my mom. Her suggestion, while she laughed me from the safety of her own home, was soap! Silly me. Of course soap will take it right off.

“Don’t touch mommy! Mommy is just going to carry you both to the sink!”

I tried to tuck each of them underneath an arm to carry them to the sink to avoid slime infection myself. It didn’t work. Slime is on me now. Also, the slime that had previously been in the bowls has now traveled across the kitchen with us in long ribbon-like strings, holding tight to both its small victims and the bowls in which it originated.

Soap apparently has the opposite effect from what we were hoping (thanks, mom). It only made the darned slime more voluminous.  It was absolutely NOT coming off. At this point it was literally covering my children and everything in the kitchen, and now since I had touched the damn stuff, it was also all over me. There was no escaping the slime!

I decided the bath was our only option. The girls gleefully ran upstairs with long trails of this slime trailing after them like a scene out of a horror movie. Across the carpets, up the stairs, on the walls, into the bathrooms.

Even in a tub full of water, the slime remained. Have you every tried to de-slime two small children with a now very awake and complaining baby in tow? I was covered, the bathroom was covered, the baby was covered. My husband came home to a horrific scene of naked slimy children and a kitchen booby-trapped with goo. Now that’s something you don’t see every day! I was cleaning up slime for days until it  finally dried back into the powered form from which it originated.

My girls thought it was the greatest time ever, but going forward I’m going to stick with what I know. Next time we’ll haul out the rain boots, because good old Oregon rainwater and puddles never took over an entire household. Or maybe we will try slime again…outside.

Do you have any disastrous craft stories or Pinterest fails? If so, please share so I know I’m not alone!


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