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After the excitement of the festive period January can feel like such a bleak month, that is why I try to plan activities and crafts that our bright and exciting to do during this month. EC had asked last year if we could grow our own snow crystals again, well as often is the case, we ran out of time last year but what a great science activity to start the year off with. Rather than just repeat a previous experiement we changed it up and decided to grow the crystals in eggs!

You will need:

  • Hollowed out eggs
  • Food colouring
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Spoons
  • A mix of different things to create the crystals; we used sugar, cream of tartar, rock salt and borax

Rather than just wasting eggs we had some soft boiled ones for breakfast and then cleaned out the shells. Use your finger to gentle rub the membrane to get rid of it as it causes the crystals to discolour. Then leave them to dry.

In separate bowls measure our ¼ cup of hot water. The hot water will help speed up the dissolving process. Then add 1 to 2 tbsp of your chosen substance and mix it well. We made up 4 using sugar, cream of tartar, rock salt and borax. Other ones you might consider using are Epsom salts, sea salt, alum or bicarbonate of soda.

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Add some food colouring to your solutions and keep a note about which colour you added to which soloution.

Place the eggs into a muffin tin or egg holders and then carefully pour the solution into the eggs.

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It does take a few days to work so we put our up on the window ledge in the kitchen so that we could check on them.

Our rock salt crystals beginning to grow after a few hours.

Our rock salt crystals beginning to grow after a few hours.

I think the highlight for me was when EC started to make predictions about what was going to happen and how long it might take for the crystals to start growing. A year ago he wouldn’t have been interested in doing that, but now he had really detailed ideas about it.

Both YC and EC were fascinated with it all and literally went to check on their eggs every time they walked into the kitchen. They were delighted when they noticed how many crystals were already growing by the time they went to bed on the first night.

We left our crystals to grow for 5 days and the results where amazing.  Unfortunately one of the dogs wanted to get in on the action and decided to have a closer look so destroyed 2 of our eggs.  Thankfully I did managed to snap some pictures before.

Our rock salt crystals were the most dramatic ones.

Our rock salt crystals were the most dramatic ones.

The outside of the rock salt egg was just as beautiful.

The outside of the rock salt egg was just as beautiful.

Our borax egg simple sparkled like a diamond mine. This picture really doesn't do it justice.

Our borax egg simple sparkled like a diamond mine. This picture really doesn’t do it justice.

Our cream of tartar crystals ones.

Our cream of tartar crystals ones.

Our sugar solution didn’t produce any crystals at all, but it did dye the inside of the egg pink.

This activity may help development of:

  • Scientifc enquiry – making predictions
  • Measuring and number skills
  • Fine Motor Skills

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