Skip to Content

Two Ways to Make Your Own Snow Crystals

Two Ways to Make Your Own Snow Crystals

Last week the boys and I did a mini winter unit study around the book Snowflake Bentley. Using the wonderful lessons over at ChalkPastel.com we enjoyed learning about many aspects of the beauty of snowflakes! (I highly recommend you check out the Chalk Pastel Clubhouse Membership for over 800 video art lessons on every topic imaginable!! Perfect for the whole family!).

In addition to reading the delightful picture book biography about Snowflake Bentley, we completed a number of hands-on activities: 

  • Chalk Pastel Drawings
  • Catching Snowflakes and taking photos
  • Cutting Paper Snowflakes
  • Creating Snowflakes out of Pipe Cleaners
  • Making Snow Crystals

Snow Science with Homemade Snow Crystals

Making your own snow crystals is not difficult. It’s an exciting way to add science experiments into your nature study! Especially if you live in a place without snow (but even if you do!), making your own crystals is a great way to study snowflakes. 

Since hubby is a chemistry teacher, I had him whip up a few solutions for us to test out. Here are the recipes for you to try at home too! (Kids, let mom or dad mix the solutions – they are chemicals and they require very hot water!). 

Snow Crystals Recipes

Snow Crystals Borax Recipe

  1. Boil some water.
  2. In a heat safe bowl or container add 4 tablespoons of borax.
  3. Then add 1 cup of water.
  4. Stir until the water becomes clear, add additional borax and stir until a small pile of borax appears at the bottom of the container. This should indicate the solution is saturated and will grow crystals.
  5. Place your pipe cleaner snowflake (or just a straight pipe cleaner) into the bowl. Suspend with a string if you like, but you don’t have to. 

Snow Crystals Epsom Salts (Magnesium sulfate) Recipe

  1. Boil some water
  2. In a heat safe bowl or container add ½ cup of the hot water.
  3. To the hot water add ½ cup of Epsom salts and stir for at least one minute until the solution is clear.
  4. Add additional Epsom salt and stir until a small pile of Epsom salt appears on the bottom of the container. This should indicate a saturated solution.
  5. Place your pipe cleaner snowflake (or just a straight pipe cleaner) into the bowl. Suspend with a string if you like, but you don’t have to. 

It’s cool to create BOTH solutions and compare the crystals. Discuss with your kids the shapes and patterns of crystals that each solution creates. Compare these crystals to the patterns of real snow crystals! What is the same? What is different? Which do they like better? 

Complete this activity by drawing the various types of crystals in your nature or science journals. 

However you choose to study snowflakes, whether reading, painting, or crafting, there is no doubt snowflakes are one of nature’s most beautiful wonders. The melt-away beauty of snowflakes never fails to melt hearts of nature lovers everywhere.

Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied. – Wilson Bentley

Visit the Chalk Pastel post to see all the lesson plan ideas for a Snowflake Bentley Winter Study for your homeschool

Referral links have been used in this post. As an Amazon Affiliate and ChalkPastel.com Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

A Winter Homeschool Snowflake Study With Snowflake Bentley - You ARE an ARTiST!

Monday 3rd of January 2022

[…] also designed snowflakes out of pipe cleaners. Extend this activity into a science lesson by making your own snow crystals! Kids can make actual crystal structures using a borax solution (especially wondrous if you live in […]

1 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin1
Share
Yum