Borax is a cheap,easy & very fun example of a crystal!
Salt, sugar, and Epsom salts are other examples. Hot water molecules move away from each other.
When you add Borax, the molecules make room for borax crystals to dissolve. But a point of saturation can be reached meaning there will be some remaining crystals. As this water cools off the water molecules move closer together again. Crystals begin to form and build around another item in the water, such as the pipe cleaner. This is especially true as the water evaporates over time.
Christmas Science Experiment: Borax Crystal Snowflakes/ornaments
This Christmas science experiment takes a little while but it’s worth it!
Your kids will love watching it and learning how Borax makes snow crystals out of pipe cleaner ornaments.
- Box of Borax detergent (found in the cleaning items aisle in most grocery stores.)
- Hot water
- Wide mouth jars such as Mason Jars or even some empty jars of pasta sauce/jelly can work.
- Pipe cleaners
- string of any kind
What to do:
- Shape various Christmas ornaments using pipe cleaners. For example, shape pipe cleaners into a stocking, star, or cross. Note: The shapes must fit into the jars.
- Tie a string to the top of the ornament.
- Fill jars with hot water.
- Add three tablespoons of Borax to each jar of water.
- Lower the string so that the ornament is completely covered. Then tie the string around the top of the open jar to keep it in place.
- Leave the pipe cleaner ornaments in the water overnight.
- By the next day, the Borax will have crystallized in the water and become attached to the pipe cleaner ornaments.