Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fun Science for Kids - Homemade Crystals

When I was a kid, I loved to experiment. I was always combining ingredients I found sitting around the house to make my next "invention". I would use sugar, epsom salts and even toothpaste - if it's all I had. I grew all sorts of molds and created all sorts of mayhem for my poor Mom. And it's not like she didn't have enough to do already with nine kids and her mother to take care of.

But as Halloween was approaching I thought, I'd like to make black crystals to use on a pumpkin for hair. This is how I did it.

What you Need to Do:

Before you begin: Write your hypothesis. What do you think will happen?

Then boil the 1/2 cup water and mix in the 1/4 cup epsom salts. Mix the epsom salt until dissolved. When the salt is completely dissolved (you can add food coloring--just a couple drops and stir it up), pour the mixture in to the cookie sheet, barely covering the bottom of the pan (or you can hang a string on a cup and pour the mixture over the string.) Then put your "experiment" in the window or a nice warm place where it won't be disturbed for a couple of days. Every day check on the growth of your crystals (observe) and record (document) your findings. 

What You Need

  • 1/4 cup epsom salts (magnesium sufate)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • shallow cookie sheet, bowl or dish
  • food coloring (optional)
  • string (optional)

See my picture above for results. Note: It didn't work for hair on the pumpkin. I didn't make enough and it melts really quickly ;D


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My kids would LOVE doing something like this.

Kim Kasch said...

GG: If you try it. Let me know what they think :D

The Happy Whisk said...

I missed this post. Very fun.

Kim Kasch said...

THW: It's fun, easy, and cheap :D