“This is Fun Gak”

playing with gak

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Last week my daughter was home from preschool for “summer break,” and I wanted to do some fun, new things with her. We went on her first trip to the museum (didn’t see any art, but that’s for another post), had her first homemade popsicles and made her first gak, among other things.

I’ve been thinking about gak for a while now, and there are recipes all over Pinterest. When a friend of mine pinned one I jotted down the ingredients (because I’m too lazy to print out things that can fit on the back of an old business card), got the necessary supplies when the Bit and I went shopping and, the next day, we decided to make it. It was a lot of ooey, gooey fun. You should try it, too.

gak recipe
Forgive the messy table in the background. Must be real life!

What You’ll Need

  • 2 bottles of plain white glue
  • 1 tbs. borax (find it on the laundry aisle)
  • water
  • food coloring
  • bowl, measuring cup and spoon
  • hands

What You’ll Do

  1. Dump glue in bowl. Fill the glue bottles with warm water, cover, shake and pour the gluey water into the bowl.
  2. Add food coloring. The Bit requested purple, so I used 24 drops of red and 16 of blue, which is what the box suggested for turning a white cake purple. Stir.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water to the measuring cup with your borax. Note: the recipe I looked at actually called for a teaspoon of borax, but I can’t follow directions even when I write them down, so I used a tablespoon. It didn’t seem to make a difference, but if you want to be true to the recipe, use a teaspoon.
  4. Add the boraxy water to the glue bowl and mix. There will come a point you will realize you’ll get on a lot faster if you mix it by hand. This will horrify you, because it feels like something they’d make you touch in a haunted house. Persist and you will be rewarded.

    make gak
    This is what the gak looked like when it was finished. It got a little less runny while playing.


At first I just gave her the gak in a bowl, but of course that wasn’t very exciting, so we soon dumped it out on the table on a piece of waxed paper. After a bit of poking, she decided she wanted to press stuff into it and went to her kitchen and started putting plates in the gak.

playing with gak
Random bits from around the house make for fun gak play.

I realized this was a great idea so I ran upstairs and grabbed a box and threw some random things into it to poke into the gak. Such as:

  • googly eyes
  • buttons
  • bottle caps
  • cookie cutters
  • straws and straw pieces
  • beads

These were all things that were just lying around the house, most of which had been previously purchased from the dollar store. You never know when that stuff will come in handy!

playing with gak
Googly eyes and cookie cutter impressions in gak.

I don’t know how I didn’t get a good picture of her playing with all that stuff, because in time a bunch of it was used and she actually spent a good 45 minutes playing with it that first time out.

gak refcipe
The tray turned out to be a better way to play.

I also do not have pictures of the playdate we had a couple days later, when kids and parents both enjoyed playing with this mucky stuff. We did realize, however, that it’s a really great idea to play with it on a tray rather than just on the table. It tends to creep and kept trying to squirm off the table! Our trays are these:

Brawny Tough Large Plastic Art Trays - Set of 5 Brawny Tough Large Plastic Art Trays – Set of 5Durable plastic art trays for sorting organizing and transporting art materials. One of each color: blue green purple red and yellow. 19 1/2L x 13 1/4W.

(that’s an affiliate link, by the way)

If you’ve been hesitant to make gak, I really think you should do it. It’s kind of gross, but also lots of fun!

Have you had any messy fun with your kids lately? I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing!

This post is linked to Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy, Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou and CraftOManiac Monday. Visit them for tons more great crafting ideas!

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