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| August 15, 2017

Let’s Make Some Crystals!

As the summer comes to an end, I am desperately searching for ideas to entertainment my kids! Recently, we decided to put on our scientist hats and make crystals! I did this with my 8 year old son and he really enjoyed that it took 3 weeks to see the final results. However, my 3 year was not so interested, so keep that in mind when you decide what will work for your child.

Here is what you need:

  • Quart-sized jar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Salt
  • Spoon
  • 2-by-8 1/2 inch piece of dark construction paper

Here is what you do:

  1. Add warm water to the jar
  2. Stir salt into the water one spoonful at a time, until no more salt will dissolve
  3. Place the paper strip inside the jar, and let it sit for 3 weeks

As the water evaporates, you will begin to see salt crystals growing on the paper. Tiny pieces of the salt are stacking on top of each other until they become big enough to see.

Here are a few tips and variations on this experiment:

  • Like I said, my son is 8 and he loved that the experiment took 3 weeks. Everyday he woke up eager to check the crystals and notice their progress. I asked questions like: what do you notice? How is it different from yesterday? What do you predict will happen tomorrow? Why do you think it looks different? What do you think is happening?
  • My son decided to draw pictures of the crystals as they changed. You can encourage your child to have a science journal and draw and record what they notice each day. This is an authentic reason to write that your child will enjoy!
  • You could try not telling your child you are making crystals- it could be a mystery for them to discover! Do the experiment and have them make predictions about what you are making. As time goes by, see if your child’s predictions change and why. I would love to hear if you try this with your own child or students. How did it go? What kind of learning happened?

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