365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
all year to enliven your world.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Magic Crystal Snowflakes

Wide-mouth pint jar
White or blue pipe cleaners
Blue food coloring, optional
Boiling water (with adult help)
20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster (This is available at grocery stores in the laundry soap sectio; NOT Boraxo soap.)
Wire cutter

Cut a pipe cleaner into three equal sections, then twist them together in the middle so you have a six-pointed star.

Tie a piece of string from point to point of your star, turning it into a snowflake shape. Next, tie a piece of string to one of the points, and tie the other end to the pencil, so that your snowflake can hang freely. The string should be long enough so the snowflake can hang down inside the jar without touching the bottom when you lay the pencil across the jar's mouth.

Boil enough water to fill the jar almost to the top. Stir in the Borax, a tablespoon at a time, until you have 3 or 4 tablespoons per cup of water (in a pint jar, that's 7 or 8 tablespoons). Mix it well, but don't worry if there's a little powder settling to the bottom of the jar. If you want to add a few drops of food coloring to make your crystals blue, now's the time.

Suspend your snowflake in the jar of Borax solution and leave it overnight. By morning it will be covered with sparkly crystals! Experiment with shapes and colors, and really have some fun!

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