Grow a Valentine’s Day crystal heart

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 Instead of growing the expected winter snowflake crystal (although those are fun too), why not grow crystal hearts with your kids this weekend?

What you’ll need:
-pipe cleaners
-borax,which you can buy in the laundry section of most grocery stores
-boiling water
-a heat-safe tin or tub
-something long enough to balance across the top (pencil, paint brush handle, ruler)

 Please take appropriate safety precautions: Don’t let younger kids handle the boiling water, and if they are going to handle the Borax please put safety goggles on them!

Step 1. Make your pipe cleaner heart.

Step 2. Tie a string to one end. Tie the other end to your pencil. Make sure that the string is short enough that your heart won’t touch the bottom of the container. We also tied the hearts upside down so that it kept the curves at the top.

Step 3. Boil water. Pour it carefully into the container. We also added food colouring, but it turns out that doesn’t make a difference to the end result.

Step 4. Add Borax, one tablespoonful at a time, and stir to dissolve. Keep stirring until it’s saturated and you’re starting to see grains that won’t dissolve.

Step 5. Lower your heart into the container, balance the pencil across the top (it helps to tape it in place so it doesn’t roll around), and ignore your container for several hours.

 Step 6. Remove your crystal hearts and admire with your child. Hang it somewhere where it catches the light!

If you like the posts I write here, why not join us over at my blog The Usual Mayhem to see all the other things we get up to? You can keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or by email.

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Post Author: Erin Dean

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