One of the many kits I had growing up was a grow your own Crystal garden it was lovely and the crystals were pretty and vibrant in colour – however I know that it used Borax which if you are in the EU you will know you can’t get hold of easily. But I wanted to make some crystals with the kids and show them how they are made and I remembered a hanging crystal experiment from when I was a child that I just perfect for showing them crystal growth through evaporation and I had everything I needed in the kitchen cupboards.

Growing Borax Free Crystals with kids

Materials needed

Bicarbonate of Soda
Boiling Water
Tea Spoon
Wool
2 jars or small glasses

Borax Free Crystal Growing

I set up a tray with everything we need – because it was a science experiment I wanted the kids to get into the habit of having the right equipment so from our lab set I put in the goggles as well.

Growing Borax Free Crystals with kids

After boiling the kettle I poured the boiling water into the two glasses and then T added 6 tea spoons of bicarbonate of soda and stirred in.

Growing Borax Free Crystals with kids

Once the mix was stirred she cut a piece of wool and placed either end in the glasses and a small plate underneath to collect any water.

Growing Borax Free Crystals with kids

We then put it aside for a week and we’ve been looking at the crystals grow.

Growing Borax Free Crystals with kids

The crystals grow on the wool as the water evaporates off. Sometimes the crystals will form up from the plate – this is the same process that happens within caves with the growth of stalagmites and stalactites but there it is calcium carbonate forming the structures and here bicarbonate of soda is sodium bicarbonate. Both of them are salts and form crystalline structures as a dissolved mix of the salt and water evaporates.

Growing Borax Free Crystals with kids

Try these other easy Science Experiments to do at Home

Chromatography Experiment – Separating Ink

Exploring Plant Structure with Celery

Seeing how roots grow with beans in a jar experiment

Testing Materials – what makes balls bounce

Energy transfer with a cotton reel car

Viewing the Constellations – with a show box viewer

Exploring how colours are made (no mess experiment using light)

Sea Turtle Conservation Lessons away from the Beach

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

One Comment

  1. I am from us and was wondering the wool you use looks like yarn. Here yarn is usually cotton or synthetic material will it still work?

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