Let’s grow a snowflake! This fun activity is great for kids elementary-aged and older who want to see chemistry in action. These gorgeous crystals can be enjoyed during any time of year and in any weather! Friends and family will be blown away by this amazing experiment!
One wide-mouth glass container
Several white or blue pipe cleaners
Craft stick (pencil, chopstick, etc.)
Before you get started, make sure you have a clear space for this experiment! A table, desk, or countertop will do.
Step One: Make the snowflake
Cut your pipe cleaner into three equal pieces and twist together at the center. Once the three pieces are connected, pull the six pieces apart until you like the shape (Optional: add smaller pieces of pipecleaner to the end to give snowflakes more detail). Tie one end of the piece of string to the center of the snowflake, and the other to your craft stick, measuring against the depth of your container. The goal is that your snowflake is fully submerged in the solution, but not touching the sides or bottom of the container.
Step Two: Make the Borax solution
After the snowflake shape is complete, boil water on the stove or in the microwave and carefully measure one to two cups of water into your container. Working with hot water can be dangerous, so make sure a parent or older helper is nearby to assist! Add and stir three tablespoons of Borax per cup of water into your container (for example, I used two cups, so I added six tablespoons of Borax).
Step Three: Put it all together
Gently lower your snowflake into the solution using the string, making sure it is fully submerged and not touching the sides of the container - otherwise it will be difficult to remove once the crystals have formed. I used a square glass tupperware, which was about 6 inches in length and three inches deep.
Store somewhere where the solution won’t be disturbed. I left mine on my kitchen counter, but anywhere works!
Step Four: Wait for the results & Enjoy!
Wait up to twenty-four hours and watch as the crystals form! This amazing transformation happens as the water cools and the dissolved borax falls out of the solution, clinging to the pipe cleaner. After the twenty-four hours is up, remove the crystals from the solution and air-dry. Then, show off your amazing creation and teach family and friends all about the magic of chemistry!