Have you ever heard of magnetic putty? This amazing substance is not just cool to play with (for kids and adults) but also offers educational value. Magnetic putty (or slime) is a unique, moldable material that exhibits fascinating properties when exposed to magnets. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of making your own DIY magnetic putty project at home with your child, transforming an ordinary day into an exciting and enriching experience.

Creating magnetic putty at home is not only a fun activity, but it also helps children learn about magnetism, magnetic fields, and non-Newtonian fluids in a hands-on manner. Engaging with this intriguing putty can spark curiosity, develop problem-solving skills, and foster a love for science. So, let's dive into the world of magnetic putty and discover how you and your child can create this remarkable substance together!

Youtube Video demonstrating how to make this magnetic silly putty:

Materials and Prep

Before you begin making magnetic putty with your child, gather the necessary materials and take a few safety precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


To make this magnetic slime  at home, you'll need the following items:

  1. White school glue (about 1/2 cup)
  2. Liquid starch (about 1/4 cup)
  3. Iron oxide powder (about 2 tablespoons or adjust for desired magnet strength)
  4. Mixing bowl and spoon

Safety Precautions and Preparations

When working with this magnetic thinking putty keep in mind these safety tips:


Protect surfaces

Use a tablecloth or plastic sheet to protect your table or workspace from potential staining from the iron oxide powder.


Make sure the area you're working in has good air circulation because the iron oxide can be an irritant if inhaled. It's not a bad idea to wear some dust masks, especially for those with respiratory issues.


Adult supervision

Kids should always be supervised by an adult during the process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Magnetic Putty

Now that you're prepped let's move onto the process of making this fun magnetic Newtonian fluid.


Making The Magic

Get it Mixed!

In the mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of white school glue with 2 tablespoons of iron oxide powder. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the powder is evenly distributed. If you'd like to try and add color to your magnetic putty, mix in a few drops of food coloring at this stage.

Adding liquid starch

Slowly pour 1/4 cup of liquid starch into the glue and iron oxide mixture. Continue stirring until the putty begins to thicken and form a dough-like consistency. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid starch slightly to achieve the desired texture.

Get it molded

Once the putty has reached the right consistency, remove it from the bowl and knead it with your hands for a few minutes. This will help to further mix the ingredients and create a smooth, pliable result.

Tips and Tricks

Adjusting the iron oxide powder amount:

Depending on the strength of the magnets you plan to use, you can adjust the amount of iron oxide powder in your putty mixture. Adding more powder will increase the magnetic properties of the putty, while using less will result in a weaker magnetic reaction.


Feel free to get creative by adding in some glitter, sprinkles, small toys, and more! You can try added food coloring or essential oils, but the dark grey from the iron will make it difficult to see lighter colors like pink or yellow.

Exploring Magnetism with Your DIY Magnetic Putty

With your batch of "attractive" putty ready to go, let's look into the science behind this incredible substance.

The Science

  1. Magnetism and magnetic fields: Magnetic putty contains iron oxide particles, which are attracted to magnets. When the putty comes into contact with a magnet or is placed near one, the iron oxide particles align themselves with the magnetic field, causing the putty to react and move towards the magnet.
Magnetism and magnetic fields
  1. Non-Newtonian fluids: Magnetic putty is an example of a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning its viscosity (or resistance to flow) changes under stress. When you manipulate it slowly, it acts like a viscous liquid, stretching and flowing. However, when you apply a sudden force or impact, it behaves more like a solid, resisting deformation and even bouncing.
Non-Newtonian fluids

Fun Activities and Experiments To Try

  1. Observing the putty's reaction to different magnets: Experiment with various magnets, such as bar magnets, horseshoe magnets, or small neodymium magnets, to observe how the magnetic putty reacts to each. Compare the strength and speed of the putty's movement towards different magnets.
  2. Visualizing magnetic field lines: Place a thin layer of magnetic putty over a strong magnet and watch as the putty forms peaks and valleys that represent the magnetic field lines. This is an excellent way to help children visualize the invisible forces at play.
  3. Testing the putty's ability to pick up magnetic objects: Use your putty to pick up metal objects, like small tacks, paper clips, or pins. This helps demonstrate the putty's magnetic properties.
  4. Creating unique shapes: Encourage your kid to use their imagination and create interesting shapes, patterns, or sculptures using the  putty. They can stretch it, try to tear it with their fingers, roll it in a ball or blob, try to bounce it, watch what happens if they lay it down and leave it for few minutes, etc.
Creating unique shapes

Scientific Lessons

  1. Understanding magnetism and magnetic fields: By engaging with magnetic putty and observing its reactions to magnets, children gain a hands-on understanding of magnetism, magnetic fields, and how they interact with materials.
magnetic fields
  1. Developing observation and experimentation skills: Playing with magnetic putty encourages children to observe, experiment, and make predictions about how the putty will react in different situations, helping them develop essential scientific skills.
observational skill development
  1. Learning about non-Newtonian fluids and their properties: As children manipulate the magnetic putty, they experience firsthand the unusual properties of non-Newtonian fluids, which can spark curiosity and inspire further exploration of unique materials and their characteristics.

If you'd like to buy some premade options, consider this popular choice:

Crazy Aaron’s Magnetic Storms

Crazy Aarons Magnetic Storms Thinking Putty

This store bought putty has millions of tiny micron-sized magnets with a bit of sparkle in it. The included magnet is a one inch ceramic magnetic that's really strong, making it perfect for playing with this.

70 piece Slime Add Ins Kit

Slime add ins

This package is perfect for DIY slime lovers! With 70 different pieces, you can add mutliple types of glitter, different color and sizes of floam beads, mermaid and unicorn charms, and more! If you want to jazz up the megnetic putty you just made and personalize it more, consider ordering this kit.

National Geographic Mega Slime Kit & Putty Lab

National Geographic Putty and Slime Lab

If you want an easy to use DIY kit with plenty of 5 star ratings, consider this package by National Geographic. This non-toxic kit comes with some premade magnetic putty,  glow-in-the-dark putty, fluffy slime, color-changing putty, bouncing putty, more types of slime, and even some glow-in-the-dark options.

In Conclusion

Throwing together a batch of this magic metallic silly putty at home with your child is a fantastic way to spark curiosity, grow a love for science, and develop those critical problem-solving skills that are so important for a successful life.

By following our guide, you can easily make your own magnetic putty and have fun with this hands-on activity that teaches important scientific concepts like magnetism and non-Newtonian fluids.

Don't forget to share your magnetic putty results with us in the comments or on social media. We'd love to hear about your experiences, see your creations, and learn about any new experiments or activities you've discovered along the way!

For more ideas, be sure to explore the rest of our blog and check out the embedded videos that offer additional insights and inspiration for your DIY science experiments.

Let's work together to inspire the next generation of curious, creative, and science loving kids who loves indoor and outdoor activities!

Check out our free kids activity sheets and related articles:

link to fun science experiments for kids
How To Make Oobleck link
link to S is for Science free kids activity sheets
link to best crafts summer fun for kids
link to best puzzle books and activity books for kids

Questions and Answers

Is magnetic putty safe for children?

Yes this putty is generally safe for kiddos to make and play with, but you'll want to keep an eye on the tinier ones. We don't want them accidentally eating it or getting it in their eyes. Just remember to follow the safety tips we talked about in Section II, especially when dealing with the iron oxide powder.

Can magnetic putty damage electronics or credit cards?

The magnetic field generated by the putty itself is relatively weak and unlikely to cause any damage, but it's best to keep it away from sensitive electronic devices and credit cards just as a precaution, especially when using strong neodymium magnets during play.

How should magnetic putty be stored when not in use?

Store your magnetic slime in an airtight container, like a resealable plastic bag, tupperware container,  or a small tin, to keep it fresh and pliable. Double check that the container is clean and dry before storing the putty though, to prevent any contamination.

Do the magnetic properties of putty wear off over time?

The magnetic properties of your homemade magnetic putty may weaken over time yes, especially if the putty is exposed to moisture, heat, or direct sunlight. However, this process is typically slow, and you can expect your putty to remain magnetic for a long time with the proper storage (airtight).

Are there any other putty types we can make at home?

Yes, there's actually a bunch! We've already posted an article on oobleck (another Newtonian-fluid experiment), but here's some more options:

Silly Putty or Slime made with glue and borax, fluffy putty made by adding shaving cream to the recipe, textured options like kinetic sand or other putty with foam beads, putty's with glitter, sprinkles or glow-in-the dark powder, and more!