- Sophie &Friends
Are you looking for a fundraiser that's definitely thinking (and oozing) outside the box? Why not try a slime bar? For a minimal investment, you can reap a pretty nice little profit and offer an activity that kids love. This past weekend I helped host one of these slime bars for a local school's May Day fundraiser. It was a huge success. We made over 300 batches of slime at $2.00 per batch. With supplies costing about $100.00 when all was said and done, I think we did pretty well.
Shaving cream - a little goes a long way - and you can buy it at the dollar store - you get about 30 servings per full sized can (watch out for the mini size they sometimes sell, that will yield less servings). Make sure you get the foaming type, not the gel.
Food coloring - although you can go all out and get slime food coloring I buy the 4 base colors - red, yellow, blue, and green - in 16 oz. bottles from Smart and Final for about $3.00 each. Or you can purchase the little boxes of standard food coloring for about $4.00 - figure on buying a bunch. Get them from a place where you can return any unopened packages - 1 box should do about 50 batches - depending on how heavy handed the kids are, and if there is a run on a certain color.
Baking soda - I get the big 5 pound tub from Smart and Final for under $5.00. You really don't need more than 1/4 teaspoon per serving. But it's so inexpesnive to buy the large container, and having that big open mouthed tub makes for very easy serving.
Contact solution - I get this at Costco - the Kirkland Multi-purpose disinfecting solution comes with 3 - 16 oz. bottles for about $10.00. Make sure whatever you buy has Sodium Borate or Boric Acid in the ingredients list. You will need 1 bottle for every 75 batches. As a side note, I like to put a little squirt on the kid’s hands before they start to play with it, this helps to keep them from sticking to the slime.
Plastic bowls (these need to be sturdy and don't use recycled paper ones - the slime sticks - if you do use paper, make sure it has a coating)
For our set up we used 4 6-foot tables, set up in a "U" shape - that way our staff and volunteers could work behind the table, and the guests could work out front. If possible, it's great to have a line monitor to manage the line and not overwhelm the slime staff. To make this process move smoothly, efficiently, and with the least amount of mess possible, we set the tables up as follows:
Table 1 - Guests grabbed a bowl and spoon and were given 2 oz of glue by a staff member. Meanwhile another staff member sprinkled about 1/4 to 1/2 tsps of baking powder into their glue and asked them what colors they would like.
To help keep things in control a staff member managed the color - kids have a tendency to go wild with the color resulting in "booger colored" slime that doesn't set up very well.
Table 2/3 – At this station guests received their shaving cream and after mixing to achieve the color that they like (more color might need to be added once the shaving cream has been mixed in so a second set of colors is advised), their saline solution. This takes a bit of time and finesse...so having open table space for this is great. If you've got a line of kids bellied up to the slime bar you can start at one end and move to the other squirting saline as you go.
This is where you need a trained slime maker - so they can sus out who needs more saline and who's ready to play with their slime. You know the slime is ready when it pulls away from the edges of the bowl. You may end up adding many rounds of saline, it depends on how fast the kids stir, how much shaving cream you used, etc. You could use 2 people at this station - 1 to handle the shaving cream and extra color and one to handle the saline.
Table 4 - Once the guests have reached slime nirvana they are ready to move on to the mix-in station. I've always equated this with the baked potato station from Sizzler where you can add whatever toppings you like. If you decide to offer this station you'll want 2 team members - 1 to handle glitter, one to handle mix-ins like foam balls and charms.
Again, kids tend to go wild, so it's great to have someone manning this station. 1 teaspoon at a time works great. Kids can mix as much as they want of course, but by doing it slowly they can achieve the perfect balance of mix-ins and slime.
Once crafters are done with their mix-ins they place the slime in a Ziplock baggie or cup with a lid. We also offer up baby wipes for any messy hands.
Now, note to all you planners out there before you attempt this - make sure you have folks who know how to make slime. I'm including a link to my fluffy slime here, but understand, to run a bar like this smoothly, you need folks who understand and can make slime. There is ultimately science, which means it comes out differently every time.Believe it or not, it can depend on the kid as to whether they end up with an ooey gooey mess or smooth silky slime. I have had numerous times when I have helped a child, kneaded the perfect slime for them, then handed it over, only to turn back and find them looking like an award recipient at the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards. I'm not 100% certain on this, but from my observations, I think it has something to do with the child's body heat or natural oils. If you are nervous about learning how to make slime Sarah McClelland’s site is an invaluable resource.
A couple notes for where you set up your station: slime doesn't particularly like extreme heat, extreme cold, or extreme wind. If you can do your station outdoors that's great, otherwise, make sure your indoor station is rug free. You want to work on a surface that can be wiped easily.
Another thing to remember is to keep moving guests down the line. It's okay to ask them to shift down to tables 2 and 3 so that you can help more guests. When we did our bar this weekend we were able to accommodate about 15 to 20 kids, at various stages, at any given time. It takes between 5 and 7 minutes to make a batch of slime, so you can figure on making about 100 batches per hour with this setup.
Finally - always have a jug of white vinegar on hand. It's the best solution to slime on clothing, hair, and shoes - the vinegar breaks down the slime and removes most of the food coloring stains as well.
In the never-ending search for fun ways to make money while entertaining kids, this is definitely a winner. Be prepared for a lot of smiles, a lot of repeat customers, and a lot of parents looking on in horror (which may be the funniest part of all). Hey...maybe you could charge $5.00 per parent to NOT let their child make slime! Now THAT would really rake in the bucks!