Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Borax Snowflake Crystal decorations

This is something we have made for the last three years at Christmas, initially we use a borax substitute, but the crystals are not as spectacular, so this year I ordered some bora from ebay.


Materials

Pipe cleaners
Borax or Borax substitute
Boiling Water
Blue food colouring
Jug or jar



You need to do is shape some decorations out of the pipe cleaners.  We make did snowflakes, hearts and christmas trees.

Then mix approximately 8 tablespoons of Borax with a pint of boiling water.  You want the borax to be past saturation point, so that it doesn't all dissolve   


We tied string to our pipe cleaner designs and then popped them on a pencil and balanced them over the jug  and submerged them overnight.




The next morning remove and allow to dry and then you will have sparking, crystallised decorations.



Now for the Science bit:
Borax is an example of crystal - "a solid with flat sides and a symmetrical shape because its molecules are arranged in a unique, repeating pattern."
Every crystal has a repeating pattern based on it's unique shape. They may be big or little, but they all have the same "shape". Salt, sugar, and Epsom salts are all examples of crystals. Salt crystals are always cube-shaped while snow crystals form a six-sided structure.  



How do the Borax crystals grow?

Hot water holds more borax crystals than cold water. That's because heated water molecules move farther apart, making room for more of the borax crystals to dissolve. 

When no more of the solution can be dissolved, you have reached saturation. As this solution cools, the water molecules move closer together again. Now there's less room for the solution to hold onto as much of the dissolved borax. Crystals begin to form and build on one another as the water lets go of the excess and evaporates.

This also applies to snowflakes - As water cools the molecules move closer together. Since all water molecules are shaped the same (H2O) they align in a six sided crystal.


Tots100 Experience Days Competition

17 comments:

  1. These are gorgeous, might try to squeeze a few of these in before Christmas with the girls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are so clever, the boys were wowed by them

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  2. Oh Wow! I love these. I have plenty of borax, but no pipe cleaners . . . I'm off to the store! Thanks for the great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Borax substitute works but not as well. Sparkly pip cleaners would be wonderful

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  3. Wow! I have to try this. Thanks for sharing x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brill, would love to see them if you do

      Delete
  4. Borax really is fun! Such magic. Love this.

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. And fun and educational to make too, plus really captured the boys imagination

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  6. Those are so COOL! I would love for you to share this on our Made for or by Kids Linky http://wemadethat.blogspot.com/2012/11/we-made-that-linky-14.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love how sparkly they are, I saw these whilst browsing the net last week and have been dying to make some but couldn't find borax to buy on the high street so resorted to ebay and now waiting eagerly for my order :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ooooo the science teacher on me is loving this - will have to order some borax x

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  9. I wonder if it would work with Epsom salt crystals too? Great idea! Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
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