Grow Sparkling Borax Crystals Activity

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Updated on Mar 28, 2016

Get your child excited about Earth science by showing them how to create homemade borax crystals! Your child will learn more about crystals and how they form. At the end of the project, you will have a beautiful crystal collection.

Note: Please supervise your child when you are working with the boiling water in this project, and make sure that they do not consume any borax.

What You Need:

  • Jar
  • Water
  • Oven mitts
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • String
  • Pipe cleaners
  • 4 Tablespoons Borax

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child which shapes he would like to create for the crystals. Examples include a spiral, circle, heart or snowflake.
  2. Tell your child to use the pipe cleaners to form the shapes you have chosen, ensuring that they can fit into the jar opening. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water on the stove.
  3. Tie a piece of string around a pipe cleaner shape and the other end of the string around a pen.
  4. Slowly add the hot water into the jar until it is about three-quarters full.
  5. Help your child place the borax into the jar, stirring after each tablespoon has been adding. Look at the bottom of the jar to see whether some of the borax has started to accumulate. If it has, then move onto the next step. Otherwise, add more borax until a pile has formed.
  6. Use the pen and the string to lower the shape into the jar, and place the pen across the top of the jar. The shape should hang inside the char without touching the bottom and be completely covered in the mixture.
  7. Pick up the jar with the oven mitts and move it to a spot where it is out of the way.
  8. Leave the jar alone for one day. Explain to your child that as the water cools, some of the borax will start to become removed from the water and the crystals will start to grow on the pipe cleaner. Ask your child to evaluate how the crystals are changing and growing several times throughout the day. Explain that the borax molecules are attracted to each other and will start to form bigger crystals as they latch onto the pipe cleaner.
  9. When a day has passed, remove the pipe cleaner from the mixture. It should be filled with crystals! Now you can put it on display and admire your crystal formations!