- Wide mouth jar
- Pipe cleaners
- Small piece of yarn
- Borax (This can be substituted with sugar or salt)
What to do:
- Cut pipe cleaners into smaller pieces and twist the pieces together to make a snowflake, making sure one branch is longer than the others to hang it. Each snowflake is different so be creative!
- Remember to make sure the snowflake can easily fit through the mouth of the jar.
- Take your yarn, and tie it into a loop. Wrap the long branch of your snowflake around the yarn and twist it onto itself.
- Put your pencil through the loop, and hang your snowflake inside the jar by placing your pencil on top. Mark on the jar where the top of the snowflake is. This way you know how much liquid you will need to completely submerge your snowflake.
- Now, you will want to prepare your snowflake solution. First, boil water (the amount will depend on how large your jar is). Pour the boiling water into a bowl or measuring cup and stir in the Borax, one tablespoon at a time (3 tablespoons for each cup of water).
- Take your pipe cleaner snowflake out of the jar and pour in the borax and water mixture all the way to your marked line. The solution should look foggy.
- Place your snowflake back in the jar and let it sit for at least 5 hours. If you have substituted the Borax for salt or sugar, you will need to let your snowflake sit in the mixture for a few days. Make a prediction of what you expect to happen!
- After you have removed the snowflake and allowed it to dry, observe all the different crystals that have formed! Was your prediction right?
Why does this happen?
- Hot water holds more crystals (Borax) than cold water.
- As the boiling water cools, the water molecules move closer together and cannot hold as much of the dissolved crystals.
- Crystals form and build upon each other as the water lets go of the dissolved Borax and evaporates.
For more information and pictures, you can visit http://blissfullydomestic.com/life-bliss/how-snowflakes-form-homeschool-lesson-plan/112666/.