Here's a fun Easter craft and science experiment for all ages!
We have had crystals on the brain for weeks, so the kids were pretty excited at the idea of growing their own crystals on pipe-cleaner "eggs" they made themselves. Growing borax crystals overnight is such a fun, pretty, and (relatively) quick way to see crystal formation!
* Boiling Water
* Pipecleaners cut in halves and quarters
* pencil or similar stick
* mason jar
* borax (available in grocery stores and even some Dollar Trees!)
The Easy How-to:
1. Bend the pipe-cleaners into egg shapes. My older preschoolers' eggs looked more like eggs while the younger childrens' eggs were a little more unique. The shape really isn't critical for the experiment, though, the older children certainly understood what was happening better than the younger.
2. Fill a mason jar half full with boiling water. Add 1/4 cup borax and stir until it dissolves. The more you can get to dissolve, the better...but don't worry if some just sits on the bottom of the jar.
3. Tie your egg to the pencil (or similar stick) and set it into the water/borax solution. You will only grow crystals on the part that is under water, so do your best to immerse the egg. If necessary, you can double the amounts of water and borax in Step 2.
4. Clean up and come back the next day! Store the mason jar in a safe place that will not be bumped. You should see a change in your Easter science experiment within a day--the crystals should be visible after sitting overnight.
Once you're done, you can hang them in the window--they sparkle and catch sunlight beautifully! Here's a shout-out to Housing a Forest, who inspired me to use borax experiments as a fun craft last year!
* Using more borax usually grows bigger crystals. Once no more borax will dissolve, you have used as much borax as possible.
* Bumping the jars will interrupt the process and change or break your crystals.
* If your pipe-cleaner is not covered with crystals, you can always wait a few more hours (haha!) or try again...make sure you pay close attention to the first two notes. (The crystals pictured were bumped...more than once!)
* Borax is not edible. Boiling water is hot. Please exercise caution with young children!
If you have older kids, you may want to explain what's really going on in this little Easter science experiment! The water/borax solution is a suspension because it contains borax particles that are big enough to settle out of the solution as it sits. The borax particles will stick to and form a crystal structure on both the pipe-cleaners and the bottom of the jar. You should see crystals on your "egg" and at the bottom of the mason jar.
I may share at any of these parties!