Have I got a cool project just for you! Today, I’m teaching how to make crystals. Get ready to wow your kiddos with this fun science experiment that’s perfect for kids!
Last week, my oldest had a friend over, and they were BORED! I invited them flip through a book of science experiments, and they chose one on how to make crystals. My youngest quickly got involved, too. (I mean, really . . . who can resist crystals?)
This project is sooo easy, and you only need a few things that you probably have already.
How to Make Crystals
Ready to get started. Check your cupboard. I bet you probably have most of these supplies on hand.
- Pipe Cleaners (also called Chenille Stems)
- Borax Laundry Booster
- Food Coloring (optional)
- A large jar (or jars)
- String or thread
- Pencils or pens
- Boil enough water to fill all of your jars at least half way. (We used three jars so that we could try out three different colors.) Carefully pour the water into the jars.
- Optional–Add a few drops of food coloring to each jar. (We used blue, green, and purple.)
- Add borax to the jars (about 1/4 cup at a time) until the borax no longer dissolves. Stir in the borax each time you add more.
- Bend the pipe cleaners into fun shapes. The shape must fit completely under the water without touching the bottom of the jar. If the pipe cleaner touches the bottom or side of the jar, the crystals that form on the bottom and sides of the jar will attach the pipe cleaner and trap it in the jar. (We learned that the hard way! We had to pry some shapes out with a knife.) You can put more than one shape in a jar, but they should not touch each other, or they will stick together.
- Tie each shape to a string. One end of the string will attach to the shape, and the other will attach to the end of a pencil or pen. Adjust the length of the string so that the shape does not touch the bottom of the jar.
- Immerse your shapes into the water in the jars, leaving the pencil or pen resting across the top of the jar.
- Finally, set your jars somewhere where they won’t be disturbed, and try to resist checking on them for 12 hours or so. (We left ours overnight.)
- When the time is up, gently lift the pen or pencils and check out the magic! (If your shape stuck to the bottom or the edge, carefully dump out the extra water and pry the shape out with a knife. Our “M” shape broke off the string and stuck to the bottom, but it still came out great.
You may get a bonus surprise. When the string broke on the “M,” the empty string was left dangling in the water. Check out the beautiful crystals that formed on the string! I think it just might be my favorite.
Thanks for stopping by today. You might like some of these ideas for kids, too. (Images below are linked to posts. Click on the image to visit the post.)