Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Homemade Crystal Ornaments

We enjoy crafting and cooking during the holidays, but this is the first year that we have made these homemade crystal ornaments. The key ingredient is Borax which I found in the detergent area of my local grocery store. We already had a few shiny pipe cleaners in our craft bin. I used my electric tea kettle to heat the water and then poured the hot water into a large measuring cup. For each cup of boiling water add 3 tablespoons of Borax and stir until dissolved. Pour the mixture into whatever size glass containers you have that will allow your pipe cleaner creations to hang freely. I suspended our creations from craft sticks using gift ribbon. We let them set overnight, but the smaller containers showed crystals sooner after a couple of hours. (The glass containers allow you to watch the crystals form). Supposedly, adding food coloring makes for bright colored crystals, but I did not try that this time around.
As a homeschooling mother, I was hoping to turn this into some kind of science experiment or class on crystals. Time and energy constraints prevented that this Christmas. When we do get around to learning about crystals, we can site this experience and do it again. During busy seasons of life, building context for future learning is the best I can do. I'm okay with that, because the ability to connect the dots between knowledge and experiences is, I believe, the most efficient way to actually learn. We can add more knowledge in the New Year!

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