Who could have predicted it?
Silly Putty seems to be making a comeback, especially in the college dorms…

Oh, c’mon, of course you remember that plastic egg-shaped container with a strange stretchy bouncy substance inside! It’s in the American National Toy Hall of Fame and everything.

But… what’s the attraction?

Silly Uses for Silly Putty

The Original Silly Putty So, what (G-rated) activities can you do with Silly Putty, besides throwing it at your baby brother and sticking it to the drapes?

The Silly Putty people ran a contest to collect the most ridiculous uses for their product, and the list makes for delightful (creativity-provoking!) reading.

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A few of my favourite suggestions for using Silly Putty —

  • I use Silly Putty to cover the microphone on my cell phone and block out unwanted noises on the golf course, so my boss can’t tell where I am. — Mike R., Lansdale, Pa.
  • On a recent fishing trip, I ran out of bait and fashioned Silly Putty as a fish lure. Within minutes, I was battling a three pound bass! — Robert L., Philadelphia, Pa.
  • I used Silly Putty to take a fingerprint off my truck that was broken into. They caught the culprit and a few weeks later, I got all my stuff and a reward. — Ron F., Library, Pa.(Notice something, here? Those silly (?) suggestions I like the best are all from men — and all of those creative fellows are from Pennsylvania! I wonder what that means…)

Craving some of that wacky retro fun for yourself, now?

If you can’t wait another day to relive your childhood by lifting pictures from the newspaper comics for no apparent reason (that’s what we always did with the stuff!)… just make your own Silly Putty (or a reasonable homemade version of it, anyway).

Make Your Own Homemade Silly Putty

There are a number of different recipes for the stretchy fun stuff we loved as kids — who didn’t hope for one of those plastic eggs in their Christmas stocking? — but here’s the easy-peasy most-basic formula from PBS Parents:

Mix together equal amounts of liquid starch and white glue, prettied-up with the food coloring of your choice.  Simple as that!

Just adjust the amounts of starch and glue to whatever amount you want to make, and punch up the color by working in more food coloring drop by drop until you get the instensity of color you want.  Or mix two of more colors together to get a custom shade. We can do that!

Just one wee caveat here:

Do be aware that, just like the original product, homemade Silly Putty won’t come off your carpet very easily, if it gets ground in to the fibers by little hands and feet. Best to put down a few old newspapers under the table in your play area, just to save on the clean-up chore after the silly fun is done.

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