You can make crystal creations as an easy science experiment for kids. Dip decorations and paper sculptures in a crystal solution, and watch them crystallize overnight!
What You'll Need:
- Waterproof table covering
- Plastic cups
- Chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
- Food coloring
- Index cards
- Epsom salts
- Permanent markers
- Pie pan
Step 1: Cover your work surface. Note that an adult needs to help kids throughout this activity.
Step 2: Heat a cup of water until it begins to steam.
Step 3: Remove the cup from heat, and stir in 2 cups of sugar. Then pour the solution into plastic cups.
Step 4: Mold chenille stems into decorative shapes (star, heart, cat, initials).
Step 5: Tie one end of a piece of string to a chenille stem shape and the other end around a pencil. Let the shape sit in the solution by balancing the pencil on the rim of the cup.
Step 6: Leave the shape overnight, and then remove it from the solution and let dry on a paper towel.
Step 7: When dry, the decorations will be covered with shiny crystals. They can be hung in a window, from a shelf, or anywhere!
For larger crystals, allow the chenille stem to soak longer in the solution. For colorful crystals, add food coloring to the crystal solution.
Create crystals of a different texture by using different materials. Follow the same recipe, replacing the sugar with Epsom salts. (Wash your hands after touching Epsom salts.)
Or try adding alum (available at the drugstore) to hot water for a different crystal solution: Ask an adult to heat a cup of water until it steams, pour it into a cup, and stir in alum spoonful by spoonful until no more will dissolve. Then suspend the chenille stem shape in the solution.
To make a crystal sculpture, fold an index card in half. Draw an animal, person, creature, or shape on the card using the edges of the card as the bottom. Cut out the shape.
Pour one of the crystal solutions into a pie pan. Stand the paper shape in the solution, leave it for several days, and watch the crystals grow to cover it!
Do all objects of the same size have the same density? Look on the next page for a liquid density test that can provide the answer.