We Tried the Bestselling DIY Slime Kits on Amazon — This Was the Best One
About three years ago, when my youngest daughter was 10, she got intensely interested in making slime. She spent the contents of her piggy bank on Borax, glue, shaving cream, and contact lens solution, and put things like polystyrene beads on her Christmas list. She cleared out the cubbies in her room to make way for her slime workshop, and schooled me on the finer points of butter slime, fluffy slime, cloud slime and floam.
At first I thought this was an odd obsession — until glue shortages at Michael’s clued me in that this was a national phenomenon among the YouTube-watching preteen and middle school set. A crafty, hands-on, uber-tactile offshoot of the “oddly satisfying” and ASMR videos, making slime scratched a lot of sensory itches.
These days, making slime is as popular as ever, but it’s evolved into a slickly packaged affair, with many companies selling colorful kits with all the fixin’s. I recently browsed through all the options on Amazon and found an overwhelming number of choices — so many that I had to get out a pen and paper to keep track. Many came with the slime pre-made, some contained all the stuff to make it from scratch, but all contained tons of add-ins so kids could customize them with colors, sparkles and even scents.
The kits are certainly not cheap though, at about $20 to $30 per kit for a couple hours of fun, so I narrowed down the field to three bestsellers and turned my kid loose on them to see if they were worth the money.
Note: I didn’t buy the number one best seller — The Original Stationary Unicorn Slime Kit —because it was so staunchly aimed at girls, or at least kids who are infatuated with pink and purple. It has 3,247 ratings — about 2,000 more than the next most-popular kit — and 80 percent of reviewers gave 5 stars. Instead, I bought the company’s very similar yet more color-inclusive Ultimate Slime Kit, which has a respectable 427 reviews (76 percent of which are 5-star). I also bought the next most popular, the Zen Laboratories DIY Slime Kit with 1,227 ratings, and the National Geographic Mega Slime and Putty Lab with 627 ratings.
Zen Laboratories DIY Slime Kit
Even though it had a STEM label and illustrations of kids in lab coats, this was the least educational kit we tried. All of the 18 different colored slimes were premade and packed in tiny containers. The “DIY” in the name simply refers to the ways in which kids can customize the slimes with glitters, beads, and foam balls. For a 13-year-old, this was boring as heck, though she did think the little ocean creature-shaped molds were cute for a hot second. We both agreed this would be a great kit for young kids who might have trouble making slime from scratch, and just want to have fun squishing it, blowing it into bubbles and packing it with bits. Ideally, though, the containers should be a bit bigger, because once she added the foam balls the slime no longer fit.
Buy: Zen Laboratories DIY Slime Kit, $28
National Geographic Mega Slime and Putty Lab
This one also touted its educational opportunities, but only came with ingredients to make one batch of slime from scratch. The rest of the slimes and putties were premade. However, it came with a learning guide that was pretty edifying. It offered tips on how to play with the glow-in-the-dark slime (which comes with a UV light), the magnetic putty (which comes with a magnet), the color-changing putty (which just gets lighter with heat, not really a different color), and the bouncing putty. The back of the book explained what was in those slimes and putties to make them perform the way they do. Did my kid read the science stuff? No. But I did! And I learned a lot. Still, in terms of sheer slime-making fun, it was just meh.
Buy: National Geographic Mega Slime and Putty Lab, $30
The Original Stationary Ultimate Slime Kit
This kit had no pre-made slimes, but came with all the stuff — glue, Borax activator, shaving foam, clay, snow powder — to make a bunch of different-textured slimes from scratch, all in a convenient plastic storage tub. It also came with different pigments, scents (chocolate, apple, candy, or strawberry), glitter tubes, glow powder, and various beads and tiny plastic fruits. But the part that made her squeal, and that inspired her 16-year-old sister to join in, were the little fruit-shaped containers for storage. The girls found these little round containers that looked like kiwi, orange, lemon and dragon fruit slices to be so cute, they dove right in and spent the next hour fully absorbed in making an array of slimes.
Buy: The Original Stationary Ultimate Slime Kit, $32 at Saks Fifth Avenue (the kit was sold out on Amazon during time of publishing)
Clearly this was the winner, particularly for kids in the double-digit age range. Their only complaints were that the scents didn’t match the fruit containers, and the containers were on the small side.
With many more wet and cold days of winter ahead and spring break on the horizon, having one of these kits in the house could come in handy. Little ones would enjoy Zen Laboratories kit, science geeks might like the National Geographic kit, but the Ultimate Slime Kit really is the ultimate.
Do your kids have a slime kit they love? Tell us about it in the comments below!