The Most-Googled Tutorial of 2017 Is Super Playful

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

If you want to learn how to do something, chances are good that the first thing you do is go to Google. All it takes is a quick search, and Google will either tell you how to do something or point you towards someone who can. That’s true whether you’re looking to brine a turkey, throw a toddler’s birthday party, or learn to speak Japanese.

This week Google released its annual “Google’s Year in Search” data, which tracks how many people searched for a given term in 2017, compared with 2016. It’s a pretty good way to tell what the year’s biggest trends were. This year “how to make solar eclipse glasses,” “how to buy Bitcoin,” and “how to cook a turkey in the oven” all appeared on Google’s list of the top 10 “how to” searches of 2017.

But the single-biggest “how to” search of 2017 was “how to make slime.”

A lot of grown-ups are likely wondering why anyone would want to make slime, but people who spend time with small children are nodding their heads right now, because making slime was definitely the biggest, stickiest, most glitter-covered kids’ craze of 2017.

I have no idea how it happened, but every small child I know suddenly became obsessed with making slime this year. A 9-year-old taught my 3-year-old how to make slime, and now my 3-year-old is trying to teach her stuffed animals. It’s so cute, I almost don’t notice the way my whole house is covered with glitter.

Slime-making starts out innocently enough. It’s a fun, simple project for kids. Just follow a recipe that usually involves Elmer’s Glue and food coloring — here’s a recipe for three-ingredient slime without Borax — and let the kids mix up their slime and add colors and glitter. It’s fun, scientific, and a little bit like cooking.

Making slime has always been a fun kids’ project, but somehow in 2017 slime-making went from a neat rainy-day activity to a full-on childhood fad, like slap bracelets or the Macarena. Some kids must have made gallons of the stuff. And they just keep wanting to make more, because making slime is the best thing about slime. Why would anybody want to play with their old slime when they could make a new batch, preferably with more glitter?

“How to make slime” was clearly the breakout DIY trend of 2017. The company that makes Elmer’s Glue must be thrilled.

Have you made slime this year?