Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and our Bluey is very excited. We don’t really go out of our way for this holiday. But when our kids are jazzed about something in particular, we like to support their enthusiasm.
Bluey is determined to create Valentine’s cards and to decorate for February 14th. But unlike our stock of Christmas and Halloween supplies, we don’t have a lot of love themed, sparkly heart stuff. So we decided that we’d try to make most of our Valentine’s Day stuff from scratch.
This fun project combines Bluey’s desire to make Valentine’s decorations and his love of science!
Tip1: Even though we made these decorations for Valentine’s Day, you can have fun creating them for any holiday or event! Think of snowflake or star structures, to name just a few variations.
Shimmery Shapes (adult supervision required):
3 cups boiling water
½ cup Borax
Ribbon or String
Popsicle sticks or pencils (something stable that can extend over the lid of your container while supporting minimal weight)
Manipulate your pipe cleaners into any desired shape.
Tie one end of a string to your shape and then attach the other end of the string to the center of a popsicle stick.
Add Borax and boiling water to a mason jar or other heat proof clear container. You want to utilize a container that you can see through as part of the fun of this project is witnessing the crystallization.
Mix the borax and water if necessary. A lot of the borax will settle to the bottom of the jar and that is okay.
Place your shape into the hot mixture and secure with the stick lying across the jar’s opening.
Leave undisturbed for at least 8 hours.
Tip2: You can create colored crystals by adding food coloring to the mixture before you hang your shapes.
This experiment/craft project gave us a chance to talk about crystals and how they are formed. The boiling water holds more Borax than cold water would. As the mixture cools, it can’t hold as much Borax. As the Borax molecules group together, they form these beautiful crystals. It’s related to what happens when it snows: warm clouds of water vapor get cooled, and become supersaturated. The water molecules group together and make snowflakes!
Tip3: Once your shape has crystalized, you may have to chip away at the bottom or the sides to release it from the container. And to clean your jars, you may have to add hot water to the hardened borax that has settled to the bottom.
We hope that you enjoy your shimmery shapes as much as our family. We plan to add some to home decorating and the rest will be gifted during Valentine card deliveries.