How to Make Quick Crystals

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Salt (Image: fleur de sel, white sea salt crystal, white background image by Oliver Mohr from Fotolia.com)

Growing quick crystals at home is a fun science project you can do with your kids using just a few common household ingredients. They grow quickly--even as early as the first day so it’s fun for kids to watch because you get such fast results. There are many types of crystals you can grow but the main ingredient in this particular recipe is non-iodized sea salt. This is one of the fastest growing crystal recipes you can make.

Things You'll Need

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Small glass bowl
  • 3 charcoal briquettes
  • Tablespoon
  • Drinking glass
  • 6 tbsp. sea salt, not iodized
  • 4 tbsp. Mrs. Stewarts Liquid Bluing (found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores)
  • 4 tbsp. water
  • 4 tbsp. ammonia
  • Food coloring (optional)

Coat a glass bowl with petroleum jelly to keep the crystals from sticking to it.

Place three charcoal briquettes in the bottom of the bowl.

Stir together 4 tbsp. of un-iodized sea salt, 4 tbsp. of Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing, 4 tbsp. of water and 4 tbsp. of ammonia in a glass.

Pour the mixture on top of the charcoal, making sure the liquid covers at least halfway up the charcoal. If not, make more mixture and pour on top or find a smaller bowl.

Add 2 more tbsp. of sea salt on the second day.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the crystals aren't growing as well as you'd like, make more of the mixture and pour it only on the spaces where the crystals aren't growing. If you pour it on the crystals, you may ruin them.
  • To make colored crystals, add a few drops of different colored food coloring spread out on top of the crystals as they are growing. You can use different colors but don’t mix the colors together, or you may end up with a muddy color.
  • Since some of the ingredients are toxic if ingested or inhaled, children should be supervised when doing this project and it should be done in a well-ventilated area.

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