Winter is approaching. So I thought why we don’t try some winter science experiments! Then an idea hit my mind i.e. ‘Making Crystal Snowman at home’. Interesting right!? This makes a perfect winter science experiment for kids during holidays.
Crystal snowman is not only creative and excited but also sits perfectly as a table centerpiece. Yes, he is one of the exciting and interesting Christmas decor. Make your Christmas decorations look more adorable by making your own crystal snowman at home. As the Christmas decors are expensive, you can reduce your expenses by making Christmas decors at home (in any shape you want) with common household items that are available for lower prices.
Watching crystals is one of the favorite sciences for my girls. This is a perfect science craft for kids and educational too. We have made 3-4 most adorable borax crystal snowman’s to decor our homemade Christmas tree. My kids felt very happy to see the Christmas tree decorated with their own craft decors.
Recommended Age: Children of middle school and up can better understand and perform the activity.
We use very common household supplies to make our cute crystal snowman. You can buy at any nearby grocery stores if you lack any one of the below listed materials.
- Borax powder
- Hot water
- Pipe cleaners
- Glass cups
It is an easy crystal growing science project for kids to learn the simple and awesome chemistry behind it. It gives hands on learning experience to the kids of 3-7 years old.
Step-1: Making Snowman
- Pick some bright colored pipe cleaners and mostly preferred red, green, and white colors since these colors suits the purpose perfectly. We used red, green and white pipe cleaners.
- Take a white pipe cleaner (how long should be the pipe cleaner depends on the height of the snowman you are wishing to have) and twist it into 8 shape. Since the pipe cleaner is very easy to mould you can make 8 shape easily. Make sure the top circle should be smaller than the bottom circle in 8 shape.
- Add a small piece of red pipe cleaner of about one and half inch in between the fold you give while twisting to make 8 shape. Now it looks like a scarf in his neck. That means you need to place the red piece of pipe cleaner in between the two circles of 8 shape. Please have a look at the figures we have posted to get an idea so that you won’t be misguided.
- Now give him a cap by adding green pipe cleaner of required length (that should match the size of the snowman you are making) on top of the small circle of 8 shape.
- It is time to add hands to your little snowman by placing blue colored pipe cleaners (keep the pipe cleaners ready in the shape of hands).
Your beautiful snowman is ready to grow crystals on it. Kids can do it very easily. In fact they show much more interest to do crafts. My younger kid, Tisha (5 years old) showed interest to make her own snowman and I am amazed seeing her adorable and beautiful little snowman.
Step-2: Prepare Borax Suspension
- My elder daughter is now well experienced to make borax suspension as she had grown lots of crystals using different shapes.
- Mix three table spoons of borax powder to 1 cup of boiling water to make a perfect borax suspension. Do not add too much borax powder because it makes hot water cloudy and your crystals also appear cloudy. So be sure to add more hot water if your solution looks cloudy.
Step-3 Preparing snowman to immerse in the borax solution
- Tie the tip of the snowman using fish wire or a string to make it dip properly into the borax solution. Also tie the free end of the fish wire to any craft stick so that it supports the snowman to sit properly in the glass cup.
If you do not immerse it properly into the glass cup like touching the bottom and sides of the glass cup will put your efforts into vain. Yes, you won’t get or grow crystals.
Step-4 Let the set up settle
- Find some private space to keep the set up safe and secure in order to grow the crystals and you need some patience too to see the crystals on your little cute snowman.
- Let it settle for about 24 hours or overnight to see the crystals growth. If you have time, you can wait for 3-4 days to make the crystals grow much longer and thicker.
- Once the crystals stop growing or if you are satisfied with the crystals grown on your snowman then you can take out the crystallized snowman out of the borax suspension.
- Wash it with cold water and let it dry completely.
The cute and adorable little snowman is in your hands with amazing crystals on it. As I told you it makes a great Christmas décor. Try it once and you will be amazed. Kids never feel boring to do this simple craft. Craft along with some simple science is always interesting for kids.
Science behind it
The word ‘crystal’ refers to any material that is naturally made of symmetrical or ordered form of molecules. Crystals can take any shape little cubes or six arms (you can see in crystal snowflakes activity). They can be made from different substances but today we have grown our crystals using borax. Now let us know how borax has made crystals on the snowman.
When the borax is mixed in the boiling water, it makes a super saturated solution or borax suspension. The heated water molecules move farther away from each other and creates more access to borax molecules to dissolve in the water. Once the hot water gets cool, the water molecules move closer and the borax molecules that cannot dissolve try to attach the pipe cleaners in the form of crystals. The extra borax molecules will settle down at the bottom of the glass cup. You can observe it clearly. This is how the borax crystals are formed.
My kids learned how the crystals grow and give the snowman a glittery-snow dusted look. They were amazed and started making different shapes and immersed in the borax suspension. You know what, my girls named the snowman as ‘Frosty’ since he looks like a frosty ice man. Happy to see my kids involved in something and learning some science along with craft.