Today we’re making something very special. Something near and dear to my heart. . .Magic Crystals. Why are they near and dear to my heart? The last time I made these crystals I was in 4th grade, I believe. I made them for my school’s science fair.
The other day I was outside playing with the kids in the snow. It was a nice sunny day here in Wisconsin, so we all got our boots, coats, hats and mittens on and headed out the door.
I caught, Dane, my six-year-old, closely studying the snow on his glove. He said, “Mom, the snow looks like it has little crystals in it.” We talked about snowflakes and how they’re made. I explained to him how each and every snowflake is unique. Next words out of his mouth, “Can we make our own crystals?” I looked at him and with a smile I said, “Why, yes we can!”
So. . .we did. And I’m assuming you want in on how to make your own, too? Great! Because that’s what I’m here for. Let’s get started on this awesome winter or any time of the year experiment!
- Small glass container or bowl
- Mixing bowl
- 1 cup Epsom Salts
- 1 cup hot water
- Food coloring
One of the things I love about these crystals is that they’re made with only three ingredients. Whenever I see a project that has a long running list of materials and instructions, I tend to avoid it. Are you the same way, or am I just lazy?
So you start out by pouring the Epsom Salts in the mixing bowl, then add the hot water (make sure it’s steaming hot right out of the tap) and a drop or two of food coloring (optional) to the bowl. Now stir the mixture with your fork. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes. Stir. Stir. Stir. Are you stirring? Continue to stir until most of the salt granules have dissolved.
Pour the salt and water mixture into your glass container and place the container in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t worry, the water mixture isn’t hot enough to cause the glass to break when you place it in the freezer.
Then move the container to the fridge (top shelf preferred) and let it sit overnight. I know, I know. It’s so difficult to wait, isn’t it? You’ll begin to see the crystals start to grow hours after you place them into the fridge, however, to get the full effect, they should be left in the fridge overnight, or even longer if possible!
This is what our crystals looked like the day after making them. Remember that crystals are VERY fragile. If you touch them, they will most likely break or disintegrate right before your very eyes. Maybe that’s part of what makes them “magic.” One of the most exciting parts of this project for children is checking on the crystals after they wake up the next morning. I promise you they will be running right to the fridge after rolling out of bed. Correction. Jumping out of bed. I’m the one who rolls. 😉
Here are three other interesting views of the crystals. I tried to zoom in and give you a look at how beautiful the crystals really were. Just look at that intricate detail! How amazing is that? If you dump out the water at the bottom of the bowl and place the crystals back into the fridge, they may continue to grow and change! Try it!
These crystals would be a fantastic project for a kids sleepover party. Better yet, how about a Disney FROZEN sleepover? Little girls would love this!
Okay, so here’s the only kinda’ disappointing thing about these crystals. . .if these crystals are left out in humid conditions, they will dissolve. To keep their shape and beauty they should be stored in a dry, airtight container. We didn’t ever remove our crystals from the bowls because we weren’t quite sure how we would store them for fear they would dissolve. What color will you make your Magic Crystals? I can’t wait to hear how yours turn out!
IN SEARCH OF MORE COOL, MAGICAL EXPERIMENTS?