Crystal experiments can teach kids a lot about the world. Kids can learn about molecules, molecular patterns, types of crystals, dissolving and solutions, the basics of chemistry, and more!
Here you’ll find over 20 crystal science experiments that you can use to teach so many fun lessons about science, and even have a crystal experiment to take to the science fair!
Scroll to view the crystal science activities, but first, a little bit about crystals!
What Are Crystals?
Crystals are a type of solid material where molecules connect in a specific, repeating pattern. The pattern causes crystals to form really interesting shapes!
There are seven basic crystal shapes. These shapes are: Cubic, Orthorhombic, Hexagonal, Trigonal, Triclinic, Tetragonal, and Monoclinic. Crystals form geometric shapes. What shape a crystal makes depends on type of molecules and atoms in that material.
What is the Science Behind Crystals?
Crystals form thanks to science! Here’s a bit about the science behind crystals.
How Do Crystals Form?
Crystals form in a process called crystallization. Crystals can form in a few different ways.
- If certain liquids cool and then harden. This causes the molecules to gather as the material tries to become stable again. This is how ice crystals are formed.
- Crystals can also form when magma cools. Most crystals found in caves, like diamonds and emeralds form like this.
- Some crystals form as liquid evaporates. This is how salt crystals form.
What Conditions are Needed for Crystals to Grow?
If you’re making crystals at home, you are probably making crystals from a supersaturated solution or from evaporation. Both of these crystals form best in environments with:
- Light and dry air
- Warm temperature
- On a porous surface
If these conditions are met your crystals should grow well.
What Can I Use Instead of Borax to make Crystals?
Borax crystals are pretty and easy to make at home, which is why they are so popular! But you can use other things to make crystals at home besides borax. Here are some crystals to make at home that don’t use borax:
- Salt crystal science experiment
- Alum crystals
- Crystal rock candy experiment for kids
- Instant ice crystals
- Epsom salt crystals
- Growing Crystals with Bluing and Ammonia
Facts about Crystals
Here are some fun facts about crystals!
- The science of studying crystals is called crystallography.
- Some crystals (like many precious gems) are actually just one giant molecule.
- Some living creatures can make crystals, including chameleons, rainbow trout, and molluscs.
- Bones are a type of crystal.
- Crystals are used in many household applications, particularly to make electronic devices.
Growing Crystals Lesson Plan
You can grab the growing crystals lesson plan in the Jarring Science Club! We have a 4-lesson unit that is all about different types of crystals and how to make them.
Each lesson includes a video, science lesson, lesson plan, worksheets, and a quiz for kids to take to see if they learned the science behind the experiment.
What Do You Need to Make Crystals?
Shop these Amazon affiliate links to gather everything you need to make crystals at home!
How to Grow Crystals
Follow along with the recipes below to learn how to grow crystals in many different ways! Soon, you’ll be a crystal expert!
If you like the look of delicate crystals, then you’ll love to learn the secret to Growing Crystals with Bluing and Ammonia.
If you need to know a recipe for crystals that doesn’t include borax, learn How to Make Crystals without Borax here!
This salt crystal science experiment teaches kids about dissolving, solutions, and parts of matter.
Homemade Salt Crystals are fun to make any time of year, but we decided to make apple shapes for this particular version!
How to Make Crystals with Borax
Try the Borax Crystals Science Project and get a complete science project you can use in a science fair!
How to Make Crystals with Epsom Salt
Make these Epsom Salt Crystals and explore the unique spiky shape that Epsom salt crystals make.
How to Make Crystals with Sugar
In this rock candy experiment for kids, you can learn how to make rock candy fast!
Learn how to make sugar crystals in the Sugar Crystal Science Experiment!
How to Make Other Types of Crystals
Why stick to lukewarm crystals when you can make Instant Ice Crystals?
If you need even more Crystal Science Fair Projects, check out this list!
Seasonal Crystal Making Activities
Sometimes, you may want to make crystals that match a holiday or season. If you do, you’ve come to the right place!
Making crystals in an egg is a fun and popular science experiment. Make these salt crystal Easter Eggs at Easter or any time of year!
These Borax Snowflakes will last for months.
For Valentine’s Day, make Salt Crystal Hearts!
Learn How to Grow Crystals with Salt and use your own shapes or use this pot of gold shape during St. Patrick’s Day!
We originally made our Salt Crystal Feathers during the fall, but we’ve found that people love making them year-round, especially in the summer!
If you’re feeling like fall, these Salt Crystal Pumpkins will make it feel like fall no matter what the weather is outside.
Can you get crystals to grow on leaves? Find out in the Salt Crystal Leaves activity.
Break out your inner witch for this Salt Crystallization Experiment. Make spooky shapes or anything else you like!
When the holiday season is around the corner, you need to try the Salt Crystal Candy Cane Experiment! It’s a fun way to bring science into holiday festivities.