The Best Putty and Slime Kits for Kids | Paper Pinecone

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The Best Putty and Slime Kits for Kids

Published Date: 05/11/24

In this Article:

What Are the Benefits of Sensory Play?

What Are the Different Types of Sensory Play?

What Is the Difference Between Slime and Putty?

The Best Slime and Putty Options  For Kids

Fun Facts About Sensory Play

When you have children, there’s always something that needs cleaning, so it can be hard to offer up toys and games that make a mess. But if you need an excuse to let them dig in and get their hands dirty, a recent study found that kids who indulge in messy play tend to be more creative as it builds persistence, increases focus, and taps into their curiosity Sensory play really is essential.

What is Sensory Play?

Messy play, as the name suggests are games that the kids can play which might create a mess. These are open-ended games where the child uses play dough, clay, sand, shells, beads, etc. to squish, pour, and sort, as part of the playing experience. This allows the kid to experiment with the different textures, and repeat the same activity over and over again. Besides tapping into their curiosity, messy play also engages them for several hours. Messy play, or sensory play is essential for your little one's overall development as they learn several life skills during the play. 

For instance, squishing on the clay and making shapes out of it strengthens their finger muscles which is essential for them to hold pencils. Sorting stones, pasta, or beads helps them understand concepts of colors, shapes, etc., which builds their problem-solving ability. 

What Are the Benefits of Sensory Play?

Sensory play has several advantages. It helps boost the nerve connections in the brain's pathways, which are key to your child's ability to complete complex tasks. In other words, when your child is involved in sensory play, they are helping their brains develop. Besides that, messy play also helps with

  • Fine and gross motor skills development

  • Emotional development (it has a calming effect)

  • Language development

  • Promotes creativity

  • Increases curiosity

What Are the Different Types of Sensory Play?

Sensory play is about engaging your baby through their five senses. Let's see how!

  • Sight: You can capture their attention using high-contrast colors, textured slime, and putty.

  • Touch: Slime's squishy, wet texture contrasts putty's smooth, playdough-like feel. Your child can mold, stretch, and pop them for endless tactile exploration.

  • Sound: Squishing slime creates squelching noises while stretching putty produces subtle pops, which engages a child's auditory senses.

  • Smell: You can infuse homemade slimes with essential oils or extracts.

  • Taste (for taste-safe options only): Edible slime and taste-safe putty let your child explore textures and flavors.


Messy play is great for your child and is something we know and understand by now. But did you know that there are several options for you to choose from when it comes to messy play? What simple, messy play ideas could you introduce to your child?

  • Mud (Make sure it is taste-safe)

  • Cloud dough

  • Playdough

  • Slime

  • Soap Foam

  • Bubble wrap

  • Putty

  • Shaving Cream
    While there are many options to choose from, the most popular ones are slime kits and putty. But why are these two so popular? What makes kids love them over other messy play objects? Read on to find out.

What Are Slime Kits?

Slime for messy play. Image Source:

Slimes, a non-toxic, viscous, oozy, and squishy material, have been a popular play item for several decades now. Originally launched by Mattel in 1976, slimes are a great way to relieve stress and play with them for several hours.

Slime is a mixture of glue, borax solution, color, and saline solution. It comes in different textures, colors, and glitters to make it more appealing for kids to engage with. Most slime kits also come with spoons, sticks, measuring cups, activators, and glitters. They also come in a storage box, which helps keep the slime fresh for several weeks. 

If you do not want to use borax, don’t worry, we have some sensory play ideas even for you. Read on!

What Is Putty?

Putty is a great tool for sensory  play too. Putty is made from silicon and is often less expensive than slime. It is also more portable and much less messy. Did you know that this addictive play tool is great for building fine and gross motor skills? It is popular not just among kids but also in hand therapy activities. It can be bounced it off things, decorated, thrown and stretched, used to make imprints, and played with it for hours. It’s also great as a fidget toy, which can help relieve anxiety. Remember, the uses of these sensory play tools are only limited by your imagination.

What Is the Difference Between Slime and Putty?

Slime and putty are both popular sensory play tools that you can carry around with you. While kids love them both and they are similar in nature but they have several  differences in terms of texture, consistency, and materials.? So, what are some key differences between slime kits and putty?


The Best Slime and Putty Options  For Kids To Get Creative Right Now

We’ve looked at dozens of slime and putty options. These are the ones that our kids consistently go back to and as parents, we don’t mind having in the house. 

Original Stationery Unicorn Slime Kit

Best for: Family fun

Why we love it: Kept kids entertained for a long time

Mess level: 7 - recommend putting down parchment paper for easier clean-up 

If you are looking for the perfect slime gift, look no further. The Original Stationery Unicorn Slime Kit has everything. It has glitter, is unicorn-themed, glows in the dark, and is slime. Can this get any better? The slime kit has 25 pretty add-ins and instructions for making your own slime. So, you can be assured that your child will have several hours of exploratory fun.

Buy Now:

Zen Laboratory DIY Slime Kit

Best for: Slime parties

Why we love it: Instructions are easy to follow

Mess level: 9 - glitter everywhere

There is something about DIY slime kits that kids love. It could be the endless possibilities of creating their own slime by mixing multiple ingredients together, the scope for hours of creative play, or the slime itself. Whatever it is, the Jumbo Slime Kit by Zen Laboratory is the Complete DIY Slime Making Kit for Kids and Boys is the perfect gift.

This ASTM-certified slime kit has 50 different slime supplies that make for several hours of fun play. The colorful slimes, glitters, foam beads, glow-in-the-dark slime, and other accessories will unleash your child’ creativity and entertain them. Watch them engage in hours of creative play and forget screen time with this colorful and fun slime kit.

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Crayola Original Silly Putty

Best for: Mess-free retro fun

Why we love it: It’s not messy and the smell alone brings us back to our childhoods.

Mess level: 1

These bouncy, elastic, stretchy putties have been kids' favorite for decades. So, we are sure that your kids will instantly fall in love with these egg-shaped putties, too. Besides being squishy, stretchy, and fun to play with, these putties never dry out, unlike the slimes, which can dry out in a few days.

These putties are made with non-toxic, child-safe material and have been a favorite for several generations. The only thing you need to be cautious about while buying this for your little one is that it may take you down memory lane, and you might not want to share it with your kids. So, make sure you order two kits - one for you and one for your child. Are you ready for the endless possibilities of play that come with Crayola Original Silly Putty?

Buy Now:

Goody Putty Heat Sensitive Color Changing 4-Pack

Best for: Stretching

Why we love it: It’s less messy than other slimes

Mess level: 3 - it’s kind of a cross between slime and putty

Every child is different, and they are all beautiful in their own way. Just as they are different as people, their sensory needs are also different. This means that the putty or slime that you buy for one of your children might not meet the sensory needs of your other child. Goody Putty understands this and has come up with a stress-relief color-changing putty pack.

Goody Putty Heat Sensitive Color Changing 4 Pack is great for entertainment and stress relief, kids therapy, and a wonderful toy for kids with ADHD. The bright colors and squishy texture help your little one calm down when they feel fidgety. Let your little one enjoy the fun of stretchy-gooey putty while being amazed at how it changes color as they pull and squeeze it.

Buy Now:

Make Your Own Slime Recipes

Aren't these some fun putty and slime kits? We are sure that your kids would enjoy playing with each and every one of them. So, have you decided which one to buy? Tell us in the comments section.

However, if you are not sure about buying slime and would rather try making one at home, do not worry. We have got the perfect DIY slime recipe just for you. Here's what you would need

Traditional Slime

  • White School Glue (half a cup)

  • Water (1/4 of a cup)

  • Borax Powder (1/4 teaspoon)

  • Food coloring of your choice

  • Glitter, beads, and other decorative items of your choice

Mix the glue and water well and slowly add the food color. Once you have the slime ready, mix the borox activator to solidify the slime. Borox may cause skin irritation so gloves are recommended. Once it’s mixed in, most people won’t react to the borax, but see below for a no-borax version. 

Fluffy Slime

  • 1 cup white glue

  • 1 cup shaving cream 

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons saline solution

  • Food coloring and glitter, as desired

No Borax Slime

  • 1/2 cup Elmer's white school glue 

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2-3 tablespoons saline solution

  • Food coloring and glitter, as desired

Fun Facts About Sensory Play

  • Sensory and messy play allow holistic development of your child's senses. This includes touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste.

  • They foster creative thinking and problem-solving as your little one experiments with different materials and textures.

  • Sensory play helps kids develop many early learning skills including counting, sorting, and matching.

  • They help  teach complex concepts like cause and effect as they mix slime colors and engage with different objects .  

  • Getting messy with kids reduces their fear of failure and encourages independence.

  • Messy play develops both fine and gross motor skills.

  • It helps reinforce cleaning up.

  • Plus, getting messy together is a great bonding experience! 


Spending some screen-free time, playing, and giving your child the undivided attention they love would be the much-needed break you deserve, too! And make a game out of clean-up - remember, that’s part of the learning experience too!

Throw a Slime Party

Now you have some store-bought slime, putty, and homemade slime, it's time to have fun with your kids. Why not make it exciting for your little ones by throwing a slime party for them? All you need to do is

  • Plan a play date

  • Ask parents to dress up their kids in clothes they don't mind getting covered in slime

  • Set up a play area (protects the rest of your house from getting messy and is easy to clean later)

  • Have slime kits ready (you can also ask your gets to bring their own slime)

  • Have theme-based foods if possible.

Sit back and watch your kids have fun at the slime party!

How We Selected The Best Slime Kits For Kids

We made slime! Lots and lots of slime. We looked at kit components, how easy the directions were to follow, the end product, and how much our kids enjoyed the process and the product. And, of course, what sort of mess were we left with! 

Safety Measures To Follow While Playing With Slime Kits

Slimes are fun to play with, but remember, they are just like any other toy. So, you need to exercise caution while playing with them. Make sure your child has adult supervision at all times, avoid contact with eyes, and do not swallow. It is important to thoroughly wash your little one's hands, legs, and face after they finish playing with the slime. All this will ensure that they have a great time while being safe.

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