Growing these types of crystals is truly a classic science experiment to try with kids and we have been trying to create a fun theme for each holiday and season! With Easter fast approaching, We decided this season to make crystal Easter eggs with our simple crystal Easter science experiment. Holiday theme science and STEM is the best.
CRYSTAL EASTER SCIENCE EXPERIMENT FOR KIDS CHEMISTRY!
Making these pipe cleaner crystal eggs is a great way to enjoy some fun Easter science with kids at home and even in the classroom. I know this because I volunteered in my son’s 2nd grade classroom when they made our crystal hearts for Valentine’s Day this year!
Growing borax crystals is a really classic science activity that encourages observation making, process following, and prediction making. There are also a couple simple ways you can really turn it into an experiment.
This crystal Easter science experiment is perfect for introducing chemistry to kids, and we offer several fun Easter chemistry activities including making homemade slime recipes, erupting Easter eggs, and even growing salt crystals.
WHAT IS CHEMISTRY?
Let’s keep it basic for our younger or junior scientists! Chemistry is all about the way different materials are put together, and how they are made up including atoms and molecules.
It’s also how these materials act under different conditions. Chemistry is often a base for physics so you will see overlap!
What might you experiment with in chemistry? Classically we think of a mad scientist and lots of bubbling beakers, and yes there are reaction between bases and acids to enjoy! Also, chemistry involves matter, changes, solutions, and the list goes on and on.
We will be exploring simple chemistry you can do at home or in the classroom that isn’t too crazy, but is still lots of fun for kids! You can check out some more chemistry activities here.
CRYSTAL EASTER SCIENCE EXPERIMENT SUPPLIES AND SET UP
Just a few simple materials and you are ready to start growing these cool crystals!
Mason Jars (wide mouth if possible)
Borax Powder (found in the laundry detergent aisle, also used for making slime)
Craft Sticks (or something else to support pipe cleaners hanging in mixture)
Pan (to boil water), Spoon, Measuring Cups and Spoons
CRYSTAL EASTER SCIENCE PROCESS
I highly recommend adult supervision and help with this Easter science experiments as it involves chemicals and boiling hot water!
If you don’t have mason jars, check the recycling bin, but you do want glass containers and not plastic. That’s part of the science you can read below.
STEP 1: The first step in this crystal Easter science experiment is to make and design your eggs out of pipe cleaners. We wrapped ours around an egg shaped cookie cutter, but you can free form it too.
One thing to note, when deciding on the shape and size of your egg, keep in mind the size of your container and the container’s opening.
Your pipe cleaner egg should move freely through the opening of the container as well as it should not touch the sides or bottom of the container.
I would even recommend that you make sure there is a little extra space around the egg as it goes through the opening of the container.
If you do a good job with this crystal growing experiment, you should end up with large, thick crystals covering your pipe cleaners. If you had to kind of push your pipe cleaner into the jar, when it’s covered with crystals you will not be able to pull it out.
How do I know this? From experience! I had my husband break open two of the jars to get these crystals out!
Below you can see our pipe cleaner Easter eggs. Use whatever colors make you happy and as many colors per egg as you like! You can really get creative with this part of the science activity.
STEP 2: Also check out how we wound a part of the pipe cleaner around a craft stick (pencil, skewer, or blast knife work too). This will suspend the pipe cleaner egg in the solution. If your egg grazes the bottom of the container, simply adjust it at the top!
MAKING THE CRYSTAL GROWING SOLUTION
Here’s where the science part comes into play! To grow these crystals we need to make a saturated solution of borax powder and boiling water. The hotter the water is, the more borax powder the mixture will hold, which will give you nicer and bigger crystals. I will share more science below!
STEP 3: Boil a large pot of water depending on the size of the jars you use. Our jars easily used up 2 cups of water because you want to make sure the whole egg is submerged in your solution.
I like to put the bowling water into a 2 cup glass measuring cup to mix in the powder. You will need approximately 3-4 tbsp of borax powder per cup of water.
What you are trying to create is a saturated solution. To do this you continue to mix the powder into the hot water until the water can no longer hold the powder and you can see that it is not dissolving. Take your time and mix well. This is called a saturated solution or a suspended solution.
Alternatively you can pour the water directly into the mason jars and mix the powder in right there.
STEP 4: Once you have your saturated solution made, you can then pour it into the jars and add your eggs as show below.
The important part now it to set your crystal Easter science experiment in a place where it can go undisturbed for the next 24 hours. You don’t want to jostle the jars or pick them up as this will disturb the settling of the mixture and the growing of the crystals!
Nows a good time to ask your kids what they think will happen!
Make sure to check on your crystal Easter science experiment every so often and note any changes! You will see crystals start to form in a few hours.
I like to give the crystals 24 hours to do their thing. I then remove them from the jars and set them on paper towels to dry.
Once dried the crystals are incredible sturdy. Hand them as a decoration too! Whether you have an Easter tree or want to hang them in a window, they will sparkle in the light.
CRYSTAL EASTER SCIENCE INFORMATION
Crystal growing is a neat chemistry project that is a quick set up involving liquids, solids, and soluble solutions. Because there are still solid particles within the liquid mixture, if let untouched, the particles will settle to form crystals.
You are making a saturated solution with more powder than the liquid can hold. The hotter the liquid, the more saturated the solution can become. This is because the molecules in the water move farther apart allowing more of the powder to be dissolved. If the water is colder, the molecules in it will be closer together.
As the solution cools down there is all of a sudden going to be more particles in the water as the molecules move back together. Some of these particles will start to fall out of the suspended state they were once in, and the particles will start to settle on the pipe cleaners as well as the container and form crystals. Once a tiny seed crystal is started, more of the falling material bonds with it to form bigger crystals.
Crystals are a solid with flat sides and symmetrical shape and will always be that way (unless impurities get in the way). They are made up of molecules and have a perfectly arranged and repeating pattern. Some might be bigger or smaller though.
MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT
Remember to set up a true scientific experiment, you need to test a question and change only one variable at a time to find your answer. A couple ideas include:
- compare the difference between hot and cold water
- compare using a glass jar and a plastic container
Give the kids magnifying glasses to check out their crystals! You might even have them draw what they see!
SIMPLE CRYSTAL EASTER SCIENCE EXPERIMENT AND CRAFT!
Find lots more awesome Easter science activities and STEM challenges below. Just click on pictures to find out more!