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Slime trend encourages creativity, entrepreneurship

Eighth+graders+Maggie+O%27Leary+and+Hannah+Joe+play+with+beige+slime+during+the+slime+X-block.+The+weekly+session%2C+led+by+three+sixth+graders%2C+teaches+girls+how+to+make+different+types+of+slime.+
Eighth graders Maggie O'Leary and Hannah Joe play with beige slime during the slime X-block. The weekly session, led by three sixth graders, teaches girls how to make different types of slime.

Eighth graders Maggie O'Leary and Hannah Joe play with beige slime during the slime X-block. The weekly session, led by three sixth graders, teaches girls how to make different types of slime.

Photo by Cat Oriel

Photo by Cat Oriel

Eighth graders Maggie O'Leary and Hannah Joe play with beige slime during the slime X-block. The weekly session, led by three sixth graders, teaches girls how to make different types of slime.

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As trends come and go, it can be difficult to keep up with the current most popular hobbies and pastimes for kids. Tweens used to bond over caring for their Tamagotchis and Bratz, trading Pokémon cards or playing on Club Penguin, and the newest favorite toy or game is constantly changing.

Now, an obsession unlike any other has risen amongst pre-teens — slime.

On any given day, it is normal to see middle schoolers guarding a plastic tupperware containing the mysterious gooey substance in a variety of colors. They poke their fingers into the soft material and enjoy feeling the smooth texture while listening to the popping, sometimes crunchy, noise it creates. Girls experiment with different additions, like glitter or foam balls, and excitedly share their latest creations with their friends.

This obsession isn’t exactly brand new. Kids who grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s will remember a strong presence of slime on Nickelodeon at the Kid’s or Teen Choice awards and may have tried making the homemade goo themselves. Even kids who remember liking Play Doh and Silly Putty will be able to relate to the fascination.

Social media has allowed more people to become aware of the benefits and fun that comes with making slime. Its popularity has lead people to master their craft, turning the craze into a real art, science and business.

According to Cara Banks ’23, the slime mania at Archer started in the middle of the first semester, predominately within grades sixth through eighth. Banks started making slime around November, after one of her friends brought slime to school one day.

Photo by Cat Oriel
Sixth grader Cara Banks plays with slime during the slime X-block. Banks runs the x-block with two other sixth graders, Sophie Atlemus and Paulina DePaulo.

Banks enjoys making slime because it serves as a stress reliever and even helps her focus at school.

“Sometimes I have problems focusing, and slime has really helped me,” she said.

Every Tuesday, Banks and fellow sixth graders Sophie Atlemus and Paulina DePaulo lead an X-block session, where they teach girls how to make their own slime. She also runs a private Instagram account and posts videos and photos of their creations every week.

Although the X-block is only officially for middle schoolers, there are upper schoolers who have fallen into the trend as well. Junior Rose Shulman-Litwan is one of the only upper schoolers who often attends the X-block. 

“[Slime’s] very satisfying — it’s squishy, and it makes weird noises,” Shulman-Litwan said. “It’s honestly like a stress reliever… like a stress ball that is more interactive.”

Slime is not just an Archer craze; people all over the world have taken an interest in the trend. There are blogs dedicated to slime and an innumerable amount of Youtube videos about how to make it. The slime hashtag on Instagram has millions of videos of people playing with every type of slime imaginable.

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Two popular types are fluffy and floam slime. Fluffy slime is more soft and squishy, while floam is crunchy because of the foam beads mixed in with it. 

These two tend to be more popular because of their tendency to provoke an autonomous sensory meridian response. ASMR is a euphoric, tingling sensation that makes viewers feel relaxed, which is what makes slime videos so addictive. Hearing the noise slime creates or even simply watching it being squished can trigger a response.

The large demand for slime has allowed many Archer girls to turn their passion into a profit. Hailey Hubbard ’22 is one of several seventh graders who sells slime outside of school.

“I just saw it all over Instagram, and I thought it was a cool idea. I started to make it, and I thought I was pretty good at it so I decided to start selling it,” Hubbard said.

According to Hubbard, she knows her slime is really good when it doesn’t stick to you, it’s stretchy and it makes a nice noise when you poke it.

Hubbard and many other girls initially sold their slime at school. However, girls are not allowed to sell products at school, including slime, since Archer is a cash free campus.

“One of the reasons we are a cash-free campus is to promote student safety and not have to worry about theft, securing values, etc.,” Dean of Students Travis Nesbitt said.

“But now you can have cash-free transactions on Venmo and [different] apps, so it causes us to reevaluate why we have these policies,” he said. “The question is if this distracts what we are here for — learning and socializing.”

Because of this rule, Hubbard sells her slime to her friends outside of school or at birthday parties. According to her, other girls sell on websites such as Mercari or Etsy.

She sells slime with her ten-year-old sister — the two call their business “The Slimy Sisters.”

Slime not only offers her a fun creative outlet but has also given her business skills at a young age.

“[Selling slime] has opened my eyes to entrepreneurship — dealing with when people aren’t happy, dealing with orders and how to keep track of all of that. It’s been a nice learning experience,” Hubbard said.

As more people start experimenting with slime, Banks encourages girls to get involved but offered advice for first-time users, buyers and sellers.

“Girls should get into slime. But, especially at school, don’t let it [distract you],” Banks said.

“If you’re making slime, watch slime videos. Hear from your friends what their recipe is. If you buy online, make sure to do research,” she said. “Don’t just buy a random thing online because it might not be what you thought it would be. Always do research.”

Watch the video to learn how to make slime with Shulman-Litwin.

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Slime trend encourages creativity, entrepreneurship”

  1. Sofia Escontrias on March 28th, 2017 6:27 pm

    I really enjoyed this article. It is a common interest to many – when I saw Slime I immediately checked this article out.

    [Reply]

  2. Ms. Freiler on April 10th, 2017 11:52 am

    Oh, slime.

    Thank you, Cat, for this well-written and informative piece! As someone who deals with slime daily (and okay, secretly really loves the stuff [not a secret anymore!]), I was pleased to learn so much about it from this article. Thank you for focusing on Middle School happenings–we appreciate it!

    [Reply]

As members of Archer’s active and engaged community, the Oracle welcomes reader comments and debate. We encourage community members to take ownership of their opinions by using their names when commenting. However, in order to ensure a diverse range of opinions, we do allow anonymous comments as long as they are respectful, relevant, and abide by Archer’s Responsible Use Policy. Comments are moderated, but not edited, and will appear once approved.

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