15 Creative and Educational Uses For Silicone Molds
I have an entire cupboard filled with silicone molds. Some might say I have too many, but in my experience you can never have too many silicone molds, especially when it comes to creating fun educational experiences and kids activities. They make it so easy to turn a boring project into something memorable and special. Check out all the genius and brilliant uses for silicone molds. Soon you will be collecting them too!
INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL USES FOR SILICONE MOLDS
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It started with a drawer. Then a cupboard and now overflow into my studio. They come in a variety of sizes, designs, colours and even quality. They don’t stack and store nicely. I will warn you about that, but if there is one thing you need to add to your arsenal of cool supplies to have on hand for science, STEM and crafting, it’s silicone molds.
Where to Buy Silicone Molds
You can find silicone molds everywhere. I order a lot of my special ones from Amazon, but I also pick up molds at the dollar store, grocers, crafting stores and kitchen supply shops. I’m always on the look out for unique and special molds.
Note, molds vary in quality and construction. Not all molds will work for all projects. For instance something with a lot of detail may not work well for making bath bombs, but is great for soaps. Some molds are thicker and stiffer construction making it harder to remove items, but also making them better for really packing in materials. They all have their uses. So I suggest collecting all of them!
Why Use Silicone Molds in Education
I can hear you asking, what the heck do you do with all of those silicone molds? Well, we take a regular old science experiment or activity, and make it something that will really WOW the kids!
No matter what your kids are into, I bet there is a silicone mold that will excite them. My most cherished mold is a Doctor Who TARDIS. Our Lego molds get so much use. The rest are fantastic when we are doing specific themes. Harry Potter, Spiderman, Christmas, Halloween, Pirates, Unicorns, Dinosaurs…. phew! The list is endless!
Can you see now why I feel silicone molds are so important for your educational toolkit? They get kids motivated, excited and interested.
And when do kids learn the most? What makes those lessons stick in their memories? When they are having fun, excited and thrilled with the experience.
So ramp up your learning and education with these innovative silicone mold ideas.
STEM Activities and Experiments Using Molds
We are obsessed with Oobleck around here! We have done so many experiments with it from making it glow, to having it magically change colours, to using it in an egg drop experiment. The amazing list of things you can do with Oobleck seems to be endless! One of our experiments was to see what would happen if we froze Oobleck. Now of course we could have just frozen it in a big blob, but that wouldn’t be any fun, so we froze it into cool and interesting shapes using our silicone molds!
We love making bioplastics and whether you chose to make a milk plastic or a clear gelatin plastic, the best part is picking a silicone mold to shape your homemade plastic into something awesome!
DIY Bath Bombs
The chemistry and science behind bath bombs earns them a spot in the STEM section of our list. We love making bath bombs and discussing the amazing reactions behind the fizz. And when you make bath bombs in silicone molds you can get some really cool shapes and bath bombs that kids can have fun decorating.
Simple Erupting Chemistry
Kids love a good baking soda and vinegar reaction. They get really excited and when they get to erupt cool shaped stuff! By using silicone molds you can shape your baking soda paste into some amazing little creations that kids can then erupt. We did one project at Christmas time where we made our baking soda into Christmas trees that the kids decorated before we erupted them. It was such a fun and cool project. They still talk about it.
My kids recently played paintball for the first time, so this project immediately caught my attention. I am fascinated by the science behind it and think it would make such an amazing summer STEAM project. Use silicone molds to help get a uniform shape to your paintball bombs. Get all the details from our friends at Teach Beside Me.
Paint Ball Bombs from Teach Beside Me
Crafts and DIY Projects Using Silicone Molds
This is a super fun project that is a great way to use up old crayon bits, make new crayons in fun shapes! It’s incredibly easy to do and kids love the results with their special crayons.
In addition to regular crayons you can make crayons for the bath tub!
Check out this fun project from Parenting Chaos.
We love making our own soaps. Not only is it incredibly easy, but it saves us money and makes an amazing gift. Plus with the right silicone molds you can make soaps that will be the perfect addition to any theme, project or gift.
Jewelry and Magnets
Now we would make our jewelry and magnets using a bioplastic, but you can also use resin or even clay in your silicone mold to create shapes that you can string into necklaces or bracelets, or glue a magnet onto the back of so you can hang it on the fridge.
We used silicone molds to make beads out of milk plastic for a friendship bracelet in the STEAM Kids Book.
Have you ever made homemade chalk? The best way to make it is in…. you guessed it, a silicone mold! You can make long sticks of chalk or get creative with other shapes. Either way, your kids will love the results. Check out this tutorial from Babble Dabble Do on how to make Homemade Chalk.
Homemade Chalk from Babble Dabble Do
It never really occurred to me that you could make your own erasers until I saw this cool DIY project from Left Brain Craft Brain. She makes erasers in silicone molds that are so cute!
Make Erasers with Left Brain Craft Brain
Making Candies and Treats
We love making homemade gummies. They taste so good and are incredibly easy to make. Kids also love that I can make them in almost any shape they can imagine. As long as I have the right silicone molds. It is also a fun and tasty way to learn about polymers.
Pressed Sugar Candies
Pressed Sugar Candies are fun and easy to make treats that are perfect for silicone molds. You can make them in any shape and decorate the final treats to create the most amazing, sweet morsels.
Who doesn’t love Jello? For your next party, make your Jello snacks extra tasty by setting them in a silicone mold to make fun and jiggly, tasty treats.
When we made our homemade lollipops silicone molds were exactly what we needed to shape them and set the sticks. Make sure you use the proper candy silicone molds for making lollipops for best results. Candy Science is always a fun learning experience, especially when you get to enjoy the results.
I love my chocolate! And when you have a diverse array of silicone molds at your disposal you can make chocolates to suit any theme or special occasion. Whether you go fancy with a specialized chocolate recipe or use a simple Melt recipe, the kids are sure to love their special chocolates.
Our Candy Geodes were such an amazing project! They were a lot of work but man the results were worth it. For our outer shell we used a silicone mold to shape the gum paste. This was a crucial part of the project as that shell held all those gorgeous candy crystals.
Care of Silicone Molds
If cared for properly, silicone molds can last 10 to 20 years with regular use. That’s a lot of educational projects! You could pass these on to future generations.
Preventing Cross Contamination
For safety reasons I always designate my molds for either food use or science use. Although I clean them regularly, it’s a safety thing. We may not get them completely clean, certain items may degrade the silicone, plus who knows! I just don’t want to take the risk.
To remember whether a silicone mold is for food or science/crafts, simply use a Sharpie and write on the bottom of them. It is very easy to keep track this way and it will ensure your silicone molds that are used for treats remain food safe.
Tip! Often I will start out using molds for food, then after a few uses move them into the science and craft pile.
To clean your silicone molds, simply use hot water (as hot as you can stand) and a grease cutting dish soap. Hand wash and dry. Let it sit on a drying rack for a few hours before putting it away to ensure it is dried completely.
Never use abrasive cleaners or sponges. This will damage your molds.
Don’t let your molds remain dirty. Letting the dirt sit in the molds will make them harder to clean.
If you are struggling to clean your molds or remove stains, use baking soda. Simply make a thick paste and apply it over the areas you are struggling to clean. Let it dry overnight and rinse in the morning.
I will also tell you something, if I am in a hurry, I often toss my silicone molds in the top rack of my dishwasher. It works most of the time, but I do find they often end up with a soapy residue. So often I end up spending more time cleaning that off, than if I had just done it by hand the first time!
Protecting Molds from Damage
Limit the use of oils in your molds as these can cause deterioration of the silicone. Also, keep out of direct sunlight, UV rays will also cause your silicone mold to deteriorate.
I find our molds are quite tough for the purposes we are using them for, but accidents do happen. If you do get a tear in a beloved mold that can’t be replaced you can repair them with a silicone rubber adhesive. Simply make sure all edges are well cleaned with acetone on the bonding edges before applying the adhesive.
Storage of Silicone Molds
It is recommended that silicone molds are stored flat. For my purposes I have had no problems at all with just stacking them in a drawer or cupboard, but I’m not working in a professional capacity with my molds. So if a few of my molds don’t sit completely flat after a year or two, I am really not worried about it. You may feel differently.
A NOTE ON TYPES OF MOLDS
Just a quick note about quality and construction of silicone molds. Once you start using them you will notice a lot of variability in the softness, stiffness, depth, detailing and more of molds. This will lend certain molds to different types of uses. For instance, when making bath bombs you want a mold with minimal detail and quite soft. But making soap can be done in a mold with more details and can be fairly stiff.
As you start using molds you will see how certain types work better for different projects. Soon you will be a master of silicone molds too!
So do I have you convinced that you need to add silicone molds to your educational toolbox? I know we love them here at STEAM Powered Family and I am sure they will add something special to your projects.
Happy Creating and Learning!