Are you looking for a fun yet educational Christmas activity? Learn how to make your own beautiful salt crystal ornaments with this Christmas science experiment! Read below for the materials and step by step directions. I also included a How does it Work section to explain the science behind these beautiful ornaments.
- Pipe Cleaners
- Mason jars (1 for each ornament)
- Pencil or other long object to tie string to
Step 1: Bend your pipe cleaner into your desired shape. Make sure your shape fits into your jar.
Step 2: Tie a piece of string to your pipe cleaner shape. You can use string, yarn, ribbon, etc. Attach the string to a pencil, ruler, or other long object.
Step 3: Boil water on the stove. Fill your mason jar with hot water. Add 3 Tablespoons of Borax per cup of water and stir together. Sometimes I do not measure, but I usually add enough Borax so that some of it settles on the bottom of the container.
Step 4: Lower your pipe cleaner shape into the hot water/borax mixture. Make sure your pipe cleaner is not touching the sides or the bottom of your jar (It will be stuck to your mason jar and will most likely get ruined when trying to pull it out if it is touching the jar). You may need to bend or reshape your ornament to fit in your jar. It is fine to have two ornaments in one large jar, but be sure they are not touching and have space between them.
Step 5: Make sure to keep your jar is in a safe place where it won’t be disturbed while your crystals are forming. Let your mixture sit overnight for the best results. When you are ready to take your ornament out, let it dry on a paper towel for about an hour.
How does it work?
Water is a solvent and has the ability to dissolve other materials or solutes. During this Christmas Science experiment, Borax (solute) was dissolved into the water (solvent) until the solution became saturated. When a solution is saturated, it means that no more solute, in our case the Borax, can be absorbed by the water. This is why you may see some of the Borax resting on the bottom of the jar. Water can dissolve more Borax when it is hot. As the water cools, the Borax starts to change from a liquid back to a solid, which is called solidifying. The precipitated solid sticks together to form the crystals on our ornaments.
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