Let’s make stunning borax crystal snowflakes.
Amaze your kids and friends with this amazing science cum craft activity which is great to try in this winter.
Who doesn’t like ornaments being a girl!? Crystal snow flake ornaments!! Hurray! My two girls are crazy about the ornaments and of course, they both will go mad of snowflakes ornaments. So, I felt this is the perfect science activity for my kids to bust their boredom during winter vacation. Kids can make their own crystal snow flake ornaments and enjoy wearing them all winter along.
Science is always amazing in every aspect and it is more exciting with a seasonal twist. Hope you all agree with me!! Let us see how this simple and fun craft science activity is going to add a wow factor and become our kid’s favorite winter science activity.
How to make Borax Crystal Snowflakes
Have a beautiful crystal snowflakes collection by making homemade Borax crystal snowflakes using a few ingredients that are available in the grocery stores.
What you need to make borax crystals
Here is the list of ingredients or supplies we need to make beautiful borax crystals.
- A glass jar
- Boiling Water
- Pipe cleaners
- Borax powder
- Food color (optional)
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What to do to grow amazing borax crystals
Performing how to make borax crystals is a simple science and more like a craft activity for kids and is a great way to introduce kids about crystals formation. You can also throw some important concepts and information on saturated solutions, solubility and re-crystallization process. So what to do to learn and show our kid’s the above all concepts we discussed.
1) As my kids have already decided to make snowflakes, we need not to worry about the shapes. J But since kids are crazy about trying different shapes and especially rainbow crystals, you can also try making borax crystals in different shapes.
2) My girls started cutting pipe cleaners to make the shape of snowflakes. Make sure they are under your surveillance as they are dealing with the cutter (to cut the pipe cleaners to make their favourite shapes). My kids used both white and blue coloured pipe cleaners and made four different shapes of snowflakes. Ask your child to make their favourite shape using pipe cleaners. Pipe cleaners are one of the attractive and simple craft supplies which kid’s love. Pipe cleaners are fairly inexpensive and come in a variety of attractive colours. You try for pipe cleaners in any stationery or buy online.
3) Meanwhile, here is your role comes in the activity. Take required amount of water in the bowl and bring it to boil for some time until you see bubbles formation on the top.
4) Once the hot boiling water is ready, pour off the water into a jar. Be sure to pick glass jars that are good and wide enough to fit the snowflakes. Now you can ask your kid to put a spoonful of borax powder into the jar again under your surveillance.
5) Keep stirring the water to mix borax powder in order to settle or form lumps at the bottom. I gave this job to my younger kid and she is so happy to do that.
6) Drop the handmade flakes into the water using some thin and translucent wires. Leave it for few hours or overnight.
The next day or after sometime, you can see amazing crystals around the flakes that grow literally in front of your eyes. Wonderful right!? J I couldn’t stop my kids as they were very happy and excited to jump here and there. Also, they are very much excited to show their craft activity to friends.
For younger kids to make salt crystals, you can use salt or sugar. Ask your little ones to add sugar or salt to the boiling water until it completely dissolves in water. This is a little longer process than borax crystals method. Be patient to see wonderful crystals to grow.
Science behind the activity
Mixing the borax powder to the hot water makes a borax suspension (a heterogeneous mixture containing solid particles in large quantities making the liquid appear cloudy. The solid particles do not dissolve in any substance that takes a liquid or gaseous states). This supersaturated solution makes the water molecules move away from the each other eventually making the borax to dissolve into the solution. Once the solution gets cooler, the borax reaches a point where it cannot dissolve in the solution and starts gathering at the bottom due to gravity. At this point, the water molecules gets closer causing borax crystals to cling or attach to the flakes (made of pipe cleaners) dipped in the borax suspension. This is why we are able to see beautiful and amazing borax snowflakes crystals.
See!! It is that easy to grow snowflakes in front of our eyes using simple ingredients as I told you in the beginning. You can try experimenting with different variables and shapes made of pipe cleaners. You can also use food colour to give different attractive colours to your crystals.
Try out and enjoy beautiful sparkling ornaments and decorations year around. My kids decorated the grown snowflakes to our window making our home looks more beautiful and attractive.
How to make borax crystal snowflakes?
Make a borax suspension and dip the handmade pipe cleaner flakes into it. Allow it to settle for sometime and see the wonderful results i.e. borax crystal snowflakes.
Will borax crystals dissolve?
Yes, they dissolve when the water is hot but when the water gets cooler, the borax molecules start gathering and form lumps.
How does temperature affect the growth of borax crystals?
Temperature gives clear affects on the growth of borax crystals. The higher the temperature, the lesser the formation of crystals due to repulsion of water molecules. The lower the temperature, you can see the most crystals formed.
How does rate of cooling affect crystal size?
Yes, cooling effect has great impact on the rate of crystal size formation. Rapid cooling of borax suspension gives small crystals whereas slower cooling gives larger ones.
Why are crystals bigger when cooled slowly?
In the borax suspension, when the hot water gets cooler the water molecules gather again and inhibits the borax to dissolve. thus making borax molecules cling to the pipe cleaners forming bigger crystals.
Why do borax crystals grow so fast?
When the hot water gets cooler or starts evaporating, the borax molecules begin to come closer and form crystals so fast.
How do you make salt crystal snowflakes?
Add salt to the hot water until it get dissolves as much as possible. Now dip the pipe cleaners snow flakes into the solution and let it sit overnight. You can see the salt crystals after sometime clearly. This is best for younger kids to introduce crystal chemistry.
Do borax crystals melt?
Yes, they melt or dissolve when they are in hot water. When borax powder is mixed in hot water, the water molecules repel each other making enough space for borax molecules to dissolve in it.
Are borax crystals safe to touch?
Borax is a mild irritant and causes burns if it is touched very often.
Is making borax crystals safe?
My answer is ‘it is not safe to use borax but with proper care (wearing gloves while working with borax) reduces the risks associated with borax. Borax is also not safe to ingest.