Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Exploring Valentine's Day and Emotions- Crystal Growing

All over Pinterest, there have been crystal growing recipes and methods. We did ours as part of exploring what the heart symbolizes. We also did it in conjunction with exploring the states of matter (liquid, solid, and gas) since boiling the water is one of the parts of getting this project to work.

We used the recipe from http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/boraxsnowflake.htm. We began by shaping pipe cleaners into hearts. I asked E to get two red pipe cleaners from the box, and she grabbed a metallic one and a regular one. I'm not sure that affected the outcome of the experiment or not (using the metallic one), but I didn't have the heart to tell her to put it back. She also helped me get the yarn to tie the hearts onto the popsicle stick we used to hang the hearts across the jar.

As the water was boiling, we measured out the Borax into a cup to dump into the Mason jar. I made sure I was very careful with this project. After all, we were using boiling water and Borax. I did take E close to the pan on the stove to discuss once again the recent activities we had performed to see water as a solid, liquid, and now a gas. We talked about how we could tell the water was boiling, and how it is important to never go near the stove unless she asks Mommy and Mommy helps her.

We finally got the mixture all ready to go, and set it up to see the crystals form throughout the day. Unfortunately, about five hours in, we still didn't see any crystals. So, I added a little more Borax. The crystals started forming almost immediately.

This is the final outcome of the project. Although I enjoyed the process, especially talking about the states of matter, I can't say I would do this again. It was relatively boring and lacked a lot of hands-on interest for an almost three-year-old child.

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