Salt Crystal Rainbow Science for Kids is a fun twist on crystal science experiments that can teach kids about ionic bonds, crystals, salt, evaporation, dissolving, super saturation, and more!
There are so many fun ways to learn with salt crystals. We always like making salt crystals because they can form in just a few hours and don’t require refrigeration. However, the longer you leave your crystals in the water, the bigger your crystals will be. We left ours in our jars for two days before pulling them out.
Getting the Salt Crystal Rainbow Science for Kids Ready
Setting this experiment up is super easy, and it takes very little advanced prep. You will need:
- Stove or hot plate
- Pipe cleaners in red, yellow, green, and blue
- Science worksheet (grab it below)
You won’t have to spend any time in advance prepping for this activity, other than printing the worksheets for each child to complete.
Doing the Salt Crystal Rainbow Science for Kids
Heat your water until boiling. You’ll have to do this part, but the children can observe.
Once the water is hot, add salt to the mixture. Keep adding salt until a sheet of crystallized salt forms on the surface of the water.
Carefully pour the water into the jars and set aside.
While the water is cooling, have the kids twist their pipe cleaners into rainbow sticks.
Once the water is cool to the touch, kids can lower their sticks into the jars.
Put the jars in a sunny location and let them sit for 2 days to a week. Crystals will start forming after a few hours.
When the crystals are formed, pull the sticks out of the water and let dry.
Observe the crystals with a magnifying glass and fill in your science worksheet with the results.
The Science Behind the Salt Crystal Rainbow Science for Kids
Salt crystals are formed when the water in the saltwater solution evaporates. When this happens, the water becomes supersaturated, and the salt separates from the water. The salt clings to the fur on the pipe cleaners, making crystals! Salt crystals are an example of ionic bonding. The molecules in the salt crystals adhere to a strict bonding pattern, so that when you look at them under a magnifying glass or microscope, they are always square or rectangle! There will never be rounded edges on a salt crystal due to it’s specific ionic bonding pattern.
More Science Activities and Ideas
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