Chalkboard Halloween Slime Science

It’s October, so a Halloween themed activity is only suitable! I have been a huge fan of slime and oobleck for most of my life, so when I saw chalkboard slime I knew I had to try it. Chalkboard slime is just like normal slime but it’s solid black and you can draw on it! I drew spider webs, a ghost, and made different patterns onto the slime. When you fold and play with the slime your design disappears and you can draw on it again, it’s basically a squishy chalkboard. The chalk markers work best when you draw little dots, but as the slime hardens you may be able to draw lines as well.

Spider web slime!

You need:
4oz Elmer’s glue
Chalkboard paint
Baking soda
Saline solution
Chalk markers

Step 1: Pour 1 entire bottle of Elmer’s glue into a bowl.

Step 2: Add 2 Tablespoons of chalkboard paint into the glue and mix.

Step 3: Mix 1 Teaspoon baking soda into the mixture.

Step 4: Add in about a spoonful of saline solution, mix continually, then add more if needed. The slime tends to harden with time, so it’s okay if it’s still a bit sticky.

Step 5: Grab some chalkboard markers and start drawing. Fold the slime and the chalk marks disappear!


Slime is formed from two molecules,  polyvinyl alcohol (found in school glue) and borate (found in borax, saline solution, etc). When the two molecules combine, a chemical reaction occurs, creating long chains, and tons of those chains form to create slime.


DIY Wind Chime from Elder

Did you know that you can make wind chimes out of elder? Like bamboo, once the pith is removed, the branches are hollow. I first observed this a while back when I harvested elder flowers to make elderflower water. I picked up an elder branch and saw the elder had a soft “wood” in the center. The soft wood is actually called the pith (see curiosities for more), the pith has a styrofoam-like texture that can be removed with a thin metal rod.

You need:
Hand pruners or hand saw
Cut elderberry of varying sizes
Thin metal rod (a metal clothes hanger works really well) or sharp skewer
Beading Wire 0.30 mm
Large branch for holding the chimes
Decorative chain 10 x 10 ft.
2 plyers
Eye hooks 1-3/8 in

Step 1: Cut an elder branch into different sized pieces (most of mine were around 6-12 inches long). I cut the elder into nineteen separate pieces in total, I wanted it to be big.

Step 2:  Take a metal rod and push it into the pith of the elder, keep pushing it through until the elder piece is hallowed out. Alternatively, you can take a drill and drill through the elder. Most drill pieces are going to be shorter than the elder tube so you will need to flip the stick over and drill through the other end to get it all the way through.

Step 3: Using a drill, create a small hole that goes through horizontally through the top of stick.

Step 4: Cut the beading wire into long strands, thread the strand through the hole in the wind chime tube. Using the beads of your choice thread beads onto each side of the wire. Tie a knot above the beads, it should look like the picture above.

Step 5: After all the wind chime tubes are threaded and strung, it’s time to start on the base. Go outside and find a fallen branch. Give the ends of the branch a clean cut using a hand saw or alternative.

Step 6: Take the drill and make a hole in the ends of the branch. Then take the eye hooks and screw them into the branch.

Step 7: I made the hanger for my wind chime using one container of decorative chain (10 x 10 ft.) you will need to create a separate linking of chain for each eye hook and then attach them at the top. I started by attaching the entire chain to one eye hook, I then pulled the chain apart by placing two plyers on each side of the opening and pulling the chain link open. I attached the chain to the eye hook and closed up the opening in the chain using two plyers. After that I gauged the length I wanted my wind chime (I made my first link of chain roughly 16 links long) and removed the chain from the rest of the chain at my decided point (16th chain link). I then repeated this process until I had three chain links attached to the eye hooks, two of my chains were 16 links long and one was 17 links long because I used the 17th hook to attach all three chains together. I used the 17th chain link to hang the wind chime as well as attach the separate chains. *See picture above for reference.

Step 8: Tie the wind chimes at varying lengths to the base. I found it easiest to attach the chimes while hanging the base at a low spot. The wind chimes should be close enough so when the wind moves them they hit each other.

Step 9: Now it’s time to add the finishing details! Tie bells to some of the long strands of string hanging off the wind chimes. Cut the extra string you did not tie bells to. Secure the wind chimes by adding a dot of glue to the top of the string where the wind chimes are tied to the base. I also added a very small sepia glass bead to the glue spot to make it prettier. After that, hang your wind chime and you are done!


The hollow elder branches make a really nice subdued sound that I find very relaxing.

Image Source


What is inside a elderberry branch?
Bark- protects the elder from exterior harm
Pholem tissue- part of the elder’s plumbing system, it transports photosynthesized food downwards from the leaves or upwards to growing buds or berries.
Cambium cell layer- produces new bark and new wood in response to hormones that pass down through the phloem tissue. These hormones are called auxins they stimulate growth in cells. Auxins are produced by leaf buds at the ends of elder branches as soon as they begin to grow in spring.
Wood- composed of dead cells that conduct water and dissolved salts upward from the roots.
Pith– soft removable core of the elder; stores food and nutrients.






Elderflower Water, Syrup, and Face wash- Know Your Plants

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Ohio you see Elder blooming along rural roads and farm fields in late spring/early summer. They really are a beautiful sight and their lovely floral smell is carried on the warm breezes.

editttElderflower shrub.

The use of Elder goes way back, Greek physician Hippocrates recommended elder for a wide variety of complaints. Elder has alterative, antiseptic, diuretic, laxative, and anti-inflammatory (see curiosities below for definitions) properties. Elder is commonly used for colds, the flu, sinus infections, boosting your immune system, and other respiratory disturbances.

IMG_2079Elderflower in full bloom. The leaves, sticks, and roots of elder may be poisonous in large quantities; berries are only ingestible when cooked. Be 100% sure you have Elder, it can be confused with poisonous hemlock.

Elder Flower Water
1 cup fresh elder flower (or 1/2 cup dried)
3 cups boiled water
mason jar
strainer or alternative method

Step one: Remove elder flowers from their stem by rolling them back and forth gently with your fingers. I used a bowl to catch the elderflowers.

IMG_2177 - Copy
You might meet some little friends while removing the flowers, so make sure you thoroughly pick through the flowers before moving on to the next step. This is a Goldenrod Crab spider, see curiosities below to learn more. Can you find her in the photo below?

Step two: Place 1 cup elderflowers in a jar. Boil 3 cups water, add to the flowers and let the mixture sit overnight.

Step three: Strain out the elderflowers and you have elder flower water! The color is not exactly appealing but it does smell pretty 😉

Elder Flower Face Wash
1 cup elderflower water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Making elderflower face wash is super easy just add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to 1 cup elder flower water. Elder flowers are great for the complexion and can help combat acne. Dab on the face with cotton, no need to rinse but apple cider vinegar can be drying so you might want to follow up with a light moisturizer.

Elderflower syrup can help bring down a fever since elderflower has diaphoretic properties that can induce sweating.

Elder Flower Syrup
1/2 cup simmered elderflower water
1 cup honey
mason jar

Simmer the 1/2 cup elderflower water for about 5 minutes . After it has simmered add roughly 1 cup honey to the mixture. Cap the mason jar tight and shake. Keep in the refrigerator, the honey should preserve it for a few months. I like to use this syrup by adding a few spoonful’s to hot water when my throat is hurting, adding a few tablespoons of lemon. It’s a real refreshing drink in cold  carbonated water on a really hot day. You can also drizzle the syrup over vanilla ice cream.


alterative: enhances nutrition and repairs tissue
anti-inflammatory: reduces inflammation
antiseptic: prevents microbe growth
diaphoretic: induces sweating
diuretic: stimulates urination

The goldenrod crab spider has a chameleon-like ability to change color to white or yellow depending on the flower they inhabit. The one pictured above matched the elder flowers perfectly, I only spotted her due to movement.

What is the difference between a tree, a bush, and a shrub?

The stems and leaves of a bush almost always touch the ground, a shrub is a little bit taller and its leaves are more elevated, meaning they do not touch the ground. According to the National Park Service, “…trees are over 20 feet tall and have trunks more than 2 inches in diameter at 4.5 feet about the ground. Shrubs are smaller than trees and often have many small, woody, bark covered stems rising from the base.”


*Caution, I am not a doctor and don’t pretend to be one. I am 100% sure of the identification of the plants I harvest and research like mad before posting a recipe. Some books say Elderberry leaves, seeds, bark, stems and root are toxic. Only the berries, which must be cooked first, and the blossoms are edible. Use  your best judgement when using plants from the wild.