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Snow Craft

What do you do when there is a lack of snow?  Make your own snowflakes of course!   This science experiment teaches children about the chemical reaction of crystals.  Adult supervision is required.

What you need:

Borax Crystal Snowflake Materials
String
Wide mouth jar (pint)
White pipe cleaners
Borax (see tips)
Pencil
Boiling water
Food coloring (opt.)
Scissors

Time Required: Overnight

Steps

The first step of making borax crystal snowflakes is to make the snowflake shape. Have an adult cut a pipe cleaner into three equal sections.

Twist the sections together at their centers to form a six-sided snowflake shape. The snowflake should fit inside the jar. Get creative, make a square snowflake or a circle. It can be any shape you like!

Tie the string to the end of one of the snowflake arms. Tie the other end of the string to the pencil. You want the length to be such that the pencil hangs the snowflake into the jar.

Fill the wide mouth pint jar with boiling water.

Add borax one tablespoon at a time to the boiling water, stirring to dissolve after each addition. The amount used is 3 tablespoons borax per cup of water. It is okay if some undissolved borax settles to the bottom of the jar.

If you want a colorful snowflake add in some food coloring.

Hang the pipe cleaner snowflake into the jar so that the pencil rests on top of the jar and the snowflake is completely covered with the borax solution and hangs freely (not touching the bottom or sides of the jar).

Allow the jar to sit overnight where it won’t be disturbed.

Look at the pretty crystals!!! You can hang your snowflake as a decoration or in a window to catch the sunlight.

Tips for Success

  1. Borax is available at grocery stores in the laundry soap section, such as 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster. Do not use Boraxo soap.
  2. Because boiling water is used and because borax isn’t intended for eating, adult supervision is recommended for this project.
  3. If you can’t find borax, you can use sugar or salt (it may take longer to grow the crystals, so be patient). Add sugar or salt to the boiling water until it stops dissolving. Ideally, you want no crystals at the bottom of the jar.

Blog post by: Beth Austin, Catamount Outdoor Schools

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Catamount Institute
740 West Caramillo St.
Colo Spgs, CO 80907
Phone: (719) 471-0910
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