Holiday Craft- Crystal Snowflake

Holiday Season is he most joyful season of all.  In our house it is the time when kids are constantly looking for something to do.  Usually,  we try to do a small holiday activity every day whether it is baking, cooking, gift making or just a craft, we try to make it fun.  The Crystal Snowflake is an easy craft for a small child or if your chid is ready for it you can add science eduction to it by explaining crystal formation.

You will need:
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2 pipe cleaners
Boiling water
Borax
Measuring spoon
Large cup or small pot
String
Scissors
An exciting child

Instructions:
Make a letter N with your pipe cleaner
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Cut the pipe cleaner in the folded areas making three equal size pieces.
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Make a letter X, wrapping one string over another.
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Wrap the last piece in the middle of the X, creating the snowflake.
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Take another pipe cleaner and cut in on 6 small pieces.
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Wrap each small piece on the edge of each snowflake leg.
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Once your snowflake is ready, attach the string.
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Take a lage cup and measure 6 tbs of Borax.

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Add 2 cups of boiling hot water. Stir continuously until all of the Borax is dissolved.
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Submerge the snowflake into the saturated solution.

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Wait over night and…
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Enjoy!

 

How does it work?

Borax in its natural form is a white crystal “a solid with flat sides and a symmetrical shape because its molecules are arranged in a unique, repeating pattern.”  a crystal can be big or small, but it will always have the same shape.

When borax is mixed with hot boiling water, the original crystal powder dissolves.  When water is heated, its molecules move farther apart, making room for more of the borax crystals to dissolve. As a result, there are more borax crystals created in a hot water than there were in a cold water.   As the solution cools down, the water molecules move closer together again. Now, there is not enough room for the solution to hold as much of the dissolved borax.   Crystals begin to form and build on one another, the bottom and the walls of the container as well as the a snowflake, while water release the excess and evaporates.

Facts about Borax:

Molecular Formula: H20B4Na2O17
Other names: disodium bicyclo[3.3.1]tetraboroxane-3,7-diolate decahydrate (IUPAC Name); Borax decahydrate; Sodium borate decahydrate; Sodium tetraborate decahydrate

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Use of Borax:

In everyday’s life Borax can be used in laundry detergents, cosmetics, an anti-fungal compound, enamel glazes.  It is also used in cooking as texture compound.
In a laboratory borax is used to make buffer solution, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.  It is also used  in the manufacture of fiberglass and as a flux in metallurgy.

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