This activity requires adult assistance!
- Epsom Salt
- Clean Glass Jars
- Food Coloring (optional)
- Hot Water, from the tap or microwaved
- Glass Bowl or Measuring Cup
- Pebbles or Sand
You will be using a ratio of 1:1 water to epsom salt for this project.
Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to your jar.
Add 1 cup of water to a microwave safe bowl. Heat the water in the microwave for 45 seconds. Alternatively use very hot tap water and skip the microwave.
If you are using food color, add a dash of food coloring to the water and stir.
Pour the water into the jar with the salt. Stir the salt and water for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the salt. Don’t worry if some of the salt remains undissolved at the Step
Drop in a pebble or a few grains of sand. Crystals need something to grow on and one little impurity in the water like grain of sand will should help ensure they have a place to nucleate
Place the jar in the back of your refrigerator.
Leave the mixture overnight in the fridge. Crystals may start forming in as little as 3 hours, but we got the best results when we made the gardens in the evening and left them to sit undisturbed overnight.
Very important Note:
Quick cool the mixture for 10 minutes in the freezer and then move it to the refrigerator. Cooling in the freezer first yielded crystal growth in 90% of our experiments. We had just a slightly lower success rate going straight from mixing to the fridge.
Activity by Rose Mattozo, Sprague Site Coordinator
Photo Credit & Inspiration: www.babbledabbledo.com