Winter science can be so much fun! Children will love growing a crystal tree this year.
Crystal Tree Supplies:
- glass jar
- boiling water
- pipe cleaner
How to grow your crystal tree:
To create our tree we twisted a pipe cleaner into a cone/spiral shape like this:
Then we tied a string to the top. The other end of the string we tied to a pencil. Then we set it aside.
The next step needs close adult supervision. Boil some water and add it to a jar.
Add some borax to the water (borax is not to be ingested, so supervision is required with children who may be tempted to put their hands in their mouths), one tablespoon at a time. Mix well between each addition until the water turns clear. When the water is saturated and the borax no longer absorbs into the water it’s time to stop.
Place your tree into the jar, being careful that it doesn’t touch the bottom. Twist the string around the pencil to get the right height.
Leave your tree in the borax solution over night and see what has happened. Our children were amazed! The tree was full of crystal ‘snow’!
We used our tree as a Christmas tree ornament and it looked quite nice.
How do these crystals form? By raising the temperature of the water, more borax can be dissolved. This is called super saturation. But when the water temperature falls again, the borax will form crystals on a solid surface. If you start this experiment in the morning, it’s fun to watch the crystals form throughout the day!
For more fun Christmas activities, Beth Gordon’s book, Christmas Crafts For Kids is a great resource!