Winter is a magical time filled with many holiday traditions and seasonal changes. All of us at Real Science-4-Kids want to share this little wintertime experiment with you and spread the seasonal joy.
Did you know you can grow your own snowflake ornaments using common household materials? If you would like to try it, follow these simple steps. At the end of the directions, we’ll share some of the science behind this experiment.
How to make the magic happen:
1) With the scissors, snip the pipe cleaner into 3 equal parts. Then, twist 2 of the pipe cleaner segments around each other at their middles to form a cross shape. Add the 3rd piece of pipe cleaner to form a six-pointed snowflake. Bend the top point into a loop for a hanger.
2) In the mixing bowl dissolve 3 tablespoons of Borax into 1 cup of water.
3) Using the Borax solution, fill the bottom of the pie plate. Dip your pipe cleaner snowflake in the solution so that the pipe cleaners are completely dampened.
4) Tie a short piece of string through the top loop. Then, tie the other end of the string around the pencil. Suspend the snowflake inside the jar. Now for the hard part, walk away and leave it untouched!
5) You should start to see crystals forming on your snowflake after 1 to 3 hours and your crystal snowflake should be complete after 24 hours. It seems obvious, but make sure you DO NOT EAT THE SNOWFLAKE.
This process will work for other shapes as well. Get creative. Use food coloring in your solution if you want additional color variations. If you really want to get crazy, try putting glow-in-the-dark paint on the pipe cleaner before dipping it in the borax solution. If you want a more defined snowflake shape, you can also try using a cut sponge instead of the pipe cleaner. We would love to hear about your results!