Friday, 8 November 2013

Growing Crystals for school

For our Science we having been learning about crystals and how they form.  We sat down one morning with Daddy and made over 7 different kinds of crystals and we are continuing to watch them grow and form over the next several weeks.  All the directions I found online except for two.

The first one we made were Crystal Needles,  we added 1/2 cup epsom salts into a 1/2 cup of hot tap water and stir until dissolve

we placed it in the refrigerator
After two days this was the results, tiny pointed crystals we are leaving it in the fridge in order to compare it to a  different crystal listed further on:)

Next we made Crystal Window Frost

We mixed 1/3 epsom salt with 1/2 hot tap water until dissolved and then added a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap

Next the kids painted the window with the mixture, they tried drawing pictures and names on the windows hoping to see  crystal drawings, didn't quite turn out that way
Later that night we saw the results:)

Next we made Magnesium Sulfate Crystals (which is the same as the needle crystal above but done a different way)

1/2 cup boiling water and add1/4 epsom salts in a shallow bowl with a small sponge.  We are  going to compare to the refrigerated version :)  as the crystals are called needle crystals
Results after one week

I found this while on our travels in the Southwest and thought we would give it a try

Looked and felt like a plain ole rock to us

added enough vinegar in a bowl to completely covered the rock

We could see the rock sending out bubbles right away.  This is suppose to look like popcorn crystal found in a cave
After three days we are starting to see results:)  see that tinny white spot it is the beginning of something we need to wait a bit longer to see what will come of it

Next we are trying to grow alum crystals which supposedly can be grown larger

We added alum to hot water and a small seed crystal is suppose to grow and then there are several steps to try to make a larger far this one doesn't appear to be working as the children and I don't see anything growing in this glass we may try again this weekend.

Next we are trying the Magic Salt Crystal garden, which I first heard about on a friends blog Krazy Kuehner Days, and after researching it found out it was a very popular activity as a Boy/Girl scout experiment in the 1960's.  First we took a charcoal and broke it into medium size pieces

We added regular table salt and a little water 

and Mrs Stewarts bluing agent

We are seeing great results:) if we keep adding salt and bluing agent the crystal will keep growing so we are going to see how big it will get over the next week or so.

Of course you can't do a crystal unit without making Sugar crystals:) i.e. rock candy

the recipe I had made more than I thought or needed, still waiting to see results, hope it turns out better than last time we tried it:)

I bought this kit a year or two ago in the UK

It has some noxious chemicals in it so the kids had to wear eye protection, I finally found our safety goggles in a box in the garage.

Using small stones to make seed crystals  this one takes about three weeks to grow so we are still waiting and working with it.  Daddy did a lot more of the work on this one as we were concerned about the chemicals.
Results after one week..still need to wait longer to see the crystals growing on the seed rocks

We are also going to make Borax crystals but I forgot to buy pipe cleaners for this day, I have since purchased them and I intend to try that very soon for yet another example of crystals for the children to see and examine.

The kids are checking on their crystals every day taking notes of the changes we are seeing.  I intend for us to continue to examine, observe and explore our home grown crystals until Thanksgiving, giving each type plenty of time to grow.  Next in our science lessons is learning a little about land forms and plate tectonics.  If you have any good experiments or web sites please share, as I am beginning to research this area and hope to begin in the next week or so:)


  1. How fun!!! The kids are going to be reading about crystals in science in a couple weeks. This looks like so much fun :)

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  3. Lots of cool experiments! Please don't forget to post a follow up to the popcorn crystal experiment. I'm really curious to see what happens and I've never even heard of popcorn crystals. Are you guys going to visit any caves?

  4. I love such experiments. Most of all, I love to know people taking so much interest in their school/college's projects. Remember to take safety precautions associated with every experiment.

    Arnold Brame
    Health And Safety Consultant Peterborough

  5. What a great range of crystals! We've only done sugar and salt so far (with mixed results - we've had lots of crystal-lined jars!). I'm pinning your post for when we come back to crystals when the kids are a bit older perhaps.