One favorite lesson in science for kids is learning how to make crystals. What if you were able to do it at home? This Borax Crystals science experiment will teach chemistry to your children in a fun and interesting way. Kids are going to be amazed watching these crystals form. Learning is so much fun with this crystals science activity.
This is a super fun and simple science experiment to do with the kids, especially if you are homeschooling or supplementing virtual school.
Let’s grow some crystals!
Easy Borax Crystals Tutorial
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How Long Does it Take to Grow Crystals?
Crystals is a little bit of a process. The crystals will start to form around the 24 hour mark. But, for best results, you will want to wait longer. Be sure to wait longer than 24 hours before removing.
Is Borax Safe to Use Around Kids?
When doing any science experiment, its best to use protective eye and hand wear and if needed, coverings for clothing, such as a smock or long sleeves and pants. Borax can cause skin burns and irritate lungs, and although this is a cause, with this tutorial, kids will be supervised to ensure their safety on top of them wearing protective gear.
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- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup Borax detergent booster
- Chenille stems, 1 for each crystal
- Wide mouth jar or glass
- Thread or thin string
- Popsicle sticks
Easy Borax Crystals Tutorial
To create the crystal structure from a chenille stem, twist one chenille stem into a stone shape.
Attach a string to hang the chenille stem in the jar.
Place borax powder in the wide mouth jar.
In a medium stock pot, bring the water to a boil. Slowly pour the water into the jar. Pour slowly to allow the jar temperature to adjust so it does not crack. Stir the mixture until all of the borax powder is dissolved.
Carefully drop the chenille stem into the borax solution and attach the string to a popsicle stick so that the chenille stem hangs in the middle of the jar without touching the edges or bottom.
Crystals will begin forming as the mixture cools. Crystals will form on the chenille stem in as little as two hours. For best results, avoid disturbing the chenille stems for 24 hours.
Remove the chenille stems from the jar and allow to dry completely.
Use the thread to hang the chenille stems or cut the string if desired.
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What is the science behind making borax crystals?
Crystals can form when a supersaturated liquid that contains a dissolved mineral cools. A supersaturated solution is a solution that has been heated in order to dissolve more material than would be possible at room temperature.
In this science experiment, the supersaturated solution is made using hot water and borax. The hot water causes the water molecules to move further away from each other so that more of the borax can dissolve into the solution. As with most minerals and solids, Borax becomes less soluble the lower the temperature of the water. Once the solution reaches a point where it cannot dissolve any more borax, it becomes supersaturated. As the solution cools, the water molecules come closer together again causing the forming borax crystals to cling to the pipe cleaner.