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Borax Crystals

Borax Crystals with Pipe Cleaners

A few weeks ago we had our eighth snow day since Jan 1 (8!!).  It started out as a two hour delay but quickly became a day off.  At the time we were still living with my sister and all the kids were getting a little stir crazy.  So I decided we needed to so a quick little easy project with supplies we already had hanging out around the house.

Enter Borax Crystals.

For the last few weeks the kids have developed an elaborate game loosely based on Minecraft and the Greek Gods (i know…).  They have have some element and emotion that they can control.  So when I asked them if they wanted to make crystals, and before I could suggest the cutsy springy type shapes I was thinking of, they jumped on the chance to make Crystal Wands and Daggers for their game.

Borax Crystals assembly

I pulled out some pipe cleaners that I already had on hand (thank you Target Dollar Spot) and put them to work assembling their stuff.  I had to suggest modifications a few times since they were making things that would be too big to fit in the bucket of Borax solution.

Borax Crystals supplies

While they were busy building, I got to work making the solution.  It’s soo easy.  Are you ready?

3 tbsps Borax for every cup of VERY hot water.  Simple right?

Then you just stir to dissolve the powder and pour it into your chosen bucket.  Now is the kind of tricky part.  You have to hang the pipe cleaners so that they are suspended into the solution without touching anything.  We used shish kabab sticks for the beams and had to raid the scrapbook supplies for some fancy paperclips because we couldn’t find any normal ones. The paperclips became the hangers.

Borax Crystals formed

Then you move on to the boring part.  Waiting.  I let them sit about 7 hours before I even checked on them.  I thought for sure it would take over night to get the amount of crystals we wanted, but the 7 hours was all we needed.  I thought it was so cool that it even formed crystals on the surface of the solution where dust had fallen.

Borax Crystals drying

I just fished them out and set them on some paper towels to air dry for a bit.  This may have been the hardest part.  Now that they were out and being all sparkly the kids had a might hard time leaving them alone.

Borax Crystals playing

Once they got hold of them they went nuts.  They even painted their faces to get more into their characters for their game.  You do have to be careful with them because the crystals are pretty fragile but we’ve been lucky enough to escape any major catastrophes so far.

Over all I’d say it was a pretty successful snow day activity.  What are some of your favorite activities for the kids when you’re stuck inside?

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