Kids love slime.

That’s just one of many things I learned while working with Shedd’s Aquarium Adventure Club. The club was formed to bring diverse youth voices into the development of new learning experiences for an elementary school-age audience.

Our first project was to create a series of short online videos featuring kids’ questions about the aquarium and its animals. We solicited direct input from kids to ensure the videos are fun, relevant and interesting. Members of the Aquarium Adventure Club not only shared their curiosity to brainstorm the questions we ask in the Sea Curious videos, but they were part of the filming too, as they explored Shedd to find the answers.

One of the topics that came out of these kids’ brainstorms was slime. Kids wanted to know if animals had slime, why they had slime, and what cool facts were there to know about slime.

Slime, also known as mucus, can be gross, but it’s also fascinating. Garden eels use slime from their skin to cement the walls of their sand burrows so they don’t collapse. Parrotfishes build a mucous cocoon at night to keep them safe while they sleep. Hagfish can ooze enough slime to fill a bucket in minutes! You can learn more about animals and slime in this Sea Curious episode.

While filming at Shedd, the kids had plenty of adventures as they met staff experts and special guests, got up close with animals and went behind the scenes. One of their favorite experiences is one you can do at home—making slime. The Aquarium Adventure Club kids made both yellow and blue slime to demonstrate a cool fact about the green moray: Its skin is blue, but a layer of protective yellow mucus makes the eel appear green. You can create blue and yellow slime, and then squish them together to make green like the moray eel.

Clear slime recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup clear PVA glue (like clear Elmer’s glue)
1-2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon baking soda
4-5 teaspoons contact lens solution
Food coloring (optional)

Directions:
1. Pour 1 cup of clear PVA glue into a mixing bowl.
2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and mix them together.
3. Add ½ teaspoon baking soda and mix into glue.
4. Add 3-4 drops of food coloring to get your desired shade of slime.
5. Add 4-5 teaspoons of contact lens solution and mix until you get a non-sticky slime. We found it worked best to have one person squirting in the contact lens solution while another person stirred with a wooden popsicle stick.

We encourage kids and their families to “Get Sea Curious!” Other kids can join the Aquarium Adventure Club simply by watching the Sea Curious videos and asking their own questions about animals. You can share photos of your slime on Instagram too with #SeaCurious!

Miranda Kerr, Learning team