Science Fun - Pipe Cleaner Crystals – CleverStuff

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Science Fun - Pipe Cleaner Crystals

Posted on 10 August 2015

We LOVE these crystals. They are easy enough for all ages, quick to set up, beautiful and sparkly. We used ours as Christmas tree ornaments and sun catchers by the window. You can make them into any shape by just bending the pipe cleaner to the shape you desire! Just be aware - this experiment takes a little bit of patience as the crystals form overnight. 
What will you need? 
  • Borax (you can find this is the laundry / cleaning section of most grocery stores)
  • hot water
  • glass jars
  • coloured pipe cleaners 
  • string or thin cord
  • a long, solid something (pencil, ruler, spoon - anything really!)

What you need to do: 

Begin by shaping your pipe cleaners into whatever shape you like - we twirled ours around a pencil to make icicles, but you might like to do a star or a heart! 

Tie a piece of string or thin cord to the top of the shape. Leave enough string to be able to tie it up. Better to be too long than too short!

In a a bowl dissolve 9 tablespoons of Borax in 3 cups of very hot water. We boiled our water in the jug first so it would be hot enough to dissolve the Borax. Stir your solution very well until the Borax has completely dissolved - it might take a couple of minutes, but make sure it's completely dissolved! 

Next, pour your Borax and water solution into your glass jars (okay, if we're being honest we used empty peanut butter jars and a vase for this...)

Now you need to hang your pipe cleaners in the solution - making sure that they aren't touch each other, the edges or bottom.  

We dd this by taping our string to a ruler and placed it across the top. 

And that's it! Now we wait!  

Set your jar in a safe place where the crystal solution can cool. We kept checking back every couple of hours and saw the crystals forming! Little by little they grew. 

This was a GREAT experiment for our little one - he enjoyed mixing the solution, and was a great early science learning experience for our neighbours who came over to get involved. Everyone had their own crystal to take away at the end too! 

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