Fun fact, Arizona is the snow capital of the US for 2016. Yes, Flagstaff, Arizona has already gotten 30 inches of snow in 2016 from last count. Crazy right?!
We decided to create our own snowflakes with this fun winter science experiment since we haven’t gotten much snow this winter.
I’ve seen a lot of borax snowflakes floating around Pinterest, but the idea of kids and borax kind of freaked me out so I tested out these snowflakes using Epsom salt and we were happy with our wintery science experiment!
First you need to gather your supplies. Most of these are regular household items.
- Pipe cleaners
- Epsom salt
- Fishing line or string
- Small bowls
- Spoons or other utensils for stirring
- Pan or plate for observation
First, create a snowflake out of your pipe cleaners.
We choose white because, well, snow is white. We folded a single pipe cleaner into thirds and cut them. Then with a simple twist in the middle we created a snowflake shape. Trim it to be sure it fits in your small bowls and lays flat. Tie fishing line or string around the middle so you can lift it out of the salt mixture later.
Next, you’re going to mix together your Epsom salt and hot water (not boiling). I found that 1/4 cup water and 1/3 cup Epsom salt worked best for me.
I heated my water up in the microwave (don’t let it boil) but get it pretty hot. Then let the kids pour in a mix the Epsom salt until it’s dissolved. This takes a lot of stirring.
Place your snowflakes into your bowls and pour the Epsom salt mixture on top covering them. Put them in the refrigerator for a few hours undisturbed. Note: We started this in the morning and checked on it after nap time. Our snowflakes sat in the fridge for about 4 hours.
Once they are “set” you’ll see crystals forming. You can lift your snowflake out using the string or fishing line. We used a fork to gently break our snowflake free. This can get kind of messy so make sure you have paper towels on hand to clean up drips.
Once our snowflakes were free we placed them in a baking tray to study.
It’s so awesome that you can grow the Epsom salt crystals in your fridge in just a few hours and the kids thought it was snow. Please note: Epsom salt isn’t poisonous but don’t let the kids put it in their mouths non-the-less.
You can let your snowflakes dry on paper towels and once they are dry you can hang them up in your window or study them again with a magnifying glass.
Pretty and fun to do!
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