Good Digital Parenting
Blog | April 25, 2017

What the Slime Trend Teaches Us About Kids and Marketing

Student, American University

The biggest trend earlier this spring wasn’t a new toy or even an app: it was slime. 

Tweens all around the country began creating their own slime – a goopy, dough-like substance that they use almost like a stress ball. The ingredients are just glue and borax, but of course tweens are finding different ways to change it up. They add pigments, glitter, and in some cases foam balls for texture.

What’s so unique about the slime trend isn’t its popularity: it’s that kids are using social media to market and sell their slime. They sell within their schools, but many slime entrepreneurs are even shipping orders for an additional fee. Their “market” has expanded beyond the four walls of their classrooms and has the potential to go absolutely global.

These sales range from teens just making a little bit of cash to having full-blown operations. One slime creator, Theresa Nyugen, told TIME that her slime sales bring in about $3,000 every month. They have become full-fledged businesses, and teens aren’t taking it lightly. Tweens are primarily using Instagram to build up their businesses and increase outreach.

Of course, there is some concern that tweens are violating Instagram’s age restrictions. Because many of the slime sellers are in middle school, many of them are under the age of 13. This violate Instagram’s terms of use, which require all users to be at least 13. Due to restrictions from the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), many social media platforms set their age cap at this age. Tweens looking to sell their slime should be aware of these restrictions.

For tweens 13 and older, social media can be a great platform for marketing their “businesses.” Companies and organizations of the 21st century need to understand how to use these tools, and this can be a great way for tweens to learn more about how it all works. Even though slime is just for fun and a bit of cash, the trend is actually teaching kids quite a bit about how businesses operate.

The slime trend is an excellent example of how social media and other digital platforms are a learning tool for teenagers. Not only is slime a creative project for tweens to get excited about, but it also teaches them some basics about entrepreneurship and how competitive markets work. If your child is using social media to sell their slime, make sure they’re following all terms of use and being careful with what information they share online.