Here’s a throwback Thursday, remember about three months ago when I decided that October would be “glow month,” and we would do all of these awesome activities like make glowing ocean and swamp sensory bins. About halfway through that glow-rific October, Aurora and I started working on this glowing crystal project and then when we went to get the blacklight flashlight and discovered that a certain naughty toddler had hidden it. Well, after many months of looking for the flashlight, I broke down and bought a new one so we could finish our super awesome project!
So, three months later, here is our tutorial on how to make glowing crystals! They’re so easy to put together and then after a week or two the results are spectacular! We used a few different substances to compare which would make the best crystals, baking soda, borax, epsom salt, sugar and table salt were the five we tried, but alum is another one that’s supposed to make some nice ones, but we couldn’t get ahold of any.
There was a bit of trial and error as we attempted a few different crystal growing methods. We used plain tap water in a control batch and then our homemade glow water in another batch to see if we could get the crystals to grow.
In each cup, we added about half a cup of boiling water and then dissolved as much of the sugar, salt, borax, epsom salt, or baking soda as possible. Keep adding more and stirring until it no longer dissolves. Once your solution is completely saturated, just let it sit for a week or two and that’s it! This is the simplest method for growing crystals, there are other variations though, and I thought we would test a few out.
We tried the seed crystal method, where you take a small crystal that has been forming in a solution and then tie it to a string and let it hang suspended. The crystals are supposed to form around it and give you a huge single crystal instead of the smaller ones that tend to grow on the sides of the cup. This didn’t work for us, but I’m not sure if it was the use of the glow water or other factors.
I also wanted to test the baking soda stalactite and stalagmite experiment this also failed, I don’t think I used the right type of yarn/string as ours never became saturated, we’ll have to experiment with these failed methods a bit more until we perfect our technique. I’m kind of glad that a few didn’t work out, as it gave Aurora the chance to experience trial and error and learn that sometimes things take a few times to get right!
Our four cups of epsom salt, sugar, borax, and table salt did work really well though. We monitored them for two weeks and watched as they changed daily, it was really fun to see Aurora so excited about checking them out each morning and examining their progress!
After two weeks, we retrieved a few crystals from each of our solutions so we could examine them. It was so neat to see the different shapes of each, the square salt cubes, the plethora of borax crystals, and then the massive epsom salt crystal! It was the most impressive by far, it’s about the size of the palm of Aurora’s hand and so pretty!
We had so much fun and learned a lot growing the crystals, but the real purpose for the project was yet to come! Tomorrow I’ll be sharing what we did with our crystals, and show you how brightly they glow! Stay tuned, and go try this at home!