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Grow Crystals at Home in a Jar of Water - A Science Experiment for Kids

Updated on May 28, 2014
Fossil shell with calcite crystals
Fossil shell with calcite crystals | Source

Crystals and Gemstones

Before getting to know how to make your own crystals at home, let us get to know a little about crystals and gemstones.

How fascinated are you with crystals like diamonds and rubies? Do you know how they are formed? The earth’s surface comprises of molten rocks. Once these rocks cool, the minerals present in these rocks change to form crystals of different shapes and sizes. Each crystal might differ from the next in terms of number of sharp corners, edges, design, structure, number of sides etc. Some of the crystals can be categorized as gemstones or gems. Gems tend to be hard in structure and they get washed down into rivers when the rocks where they were formed wear off.

As you all might know, the hardest gemstone to exist is the diamond. It is the hardest mineral to be found on Earth. Diamonds are formed from carbons that have cooled down. Owing to their hard composition, many industries use diamonds as tools in mining and drilling – they can cut through hard metals quickly and accurately.

A corundum mineral produces rubies and sapphires. This mineral contains tiny quantities of Chromium which gives rubies their distinctive Red coloration. Rubies are generally used in industries, medical fields, communications and scientific research for laser productions. The ruby crystal helps to produce a strong beam of light which can cut through and melt substances. This thin beam of light is able to cut objects with great accuracy.

The largest concentration of crystals is found amid rocks but there are various other occurrences of crystals in nature. For example, a snow flake is in a single crystallized form whereas an ice cube can be considered as a polycrystal. There are living beings out there which can product crystals as well. For example, calcite crystals can be produced by most molluscs.

On this page, you will find a simple Science experiment for kids that tell you how to grow your own crystals at home in a jar of water. The whole setup can be done in a matter of minutes and it will take few days for results to be shown. The experiment is pretty basic and is apt for kids who take an ardent interest in Science experiments.

Crystal Growing Experiment Kit

Thames & Kosmos Crystal Growing
Thames & Kosmos Crystal Growing

Make absolutely stunning crystals and conduct various experiments using this crystal growing kit. Learn more about crystallization.

 

Did you know?

Diamonds are so hard that it takes one diamond to cut through another one. A rough diamond can have as many as 58 sides after it has been cut and polished.

How to grown your own crystals

This is a pretty simple Science experiment. All you need to do is add some washing soda to a jar of hot water. Keep this jar in a warm room for a few days and you will be able to see crystals forming. Since you need really hot water for this experiment, parental guidance is advised.

Things you will need:

  1. String
  2. A teaspoon
  3. A paperclip
  4. Some hot water
  5. One pencil
  6. Some washing soda crystals
  7. Two glass jars
  8. A small bowl

Directions:

  1. Put the teaspoon into one of the two jars.
  2. Fill the jar up with hot water.
  3. Add a few teaspoons of washing soda to the water.
  4. Stir this mixture for some time.
  5. Add more washing soda to this mixture and stir again.
  6. Fill the bowl with hot water and allow the jar of hot water to stand in it.
  7. Keep on adding hot water, washing soda to this jar and keep stirring. You need to keep adding washing soda till no more washing soda can dissolve in water.
  8. Allow this liquid to cool down.
  9. When it is cooled, pour the content to the other jar.
  10. Tie a paper clip to one end of the string and tie the other end of the string around a pencil.
  11. Place this pencil across the jar in such a way that the paperclip dips into the water in the jar.
  12. Keep this jar aside. Check again after few days. You will find a large lump of crystals near the paperclip.

How to grow crystals

Making Colored Crystals

It is very easy to create colored crystals as well. Use copper sulphate powder mixed with water and leave it to rest for some time. You will be able to produce stunning blue colored crystals. The following video shows you how.

© 2014 Kalpana Iyer

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