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How to Turn Homemade Salt Crystals into Sparkly Apples!

Learn how to make homemade salt crystals and make salt crystal apples! They were super fun to make, and kept my preschooler fully engaged for several days as we watched the crystals grow larger and larger every day. This is a super fun STEM lesson plan that you can use as one of your fall apple STEM activities.

Learn how to make homeade salt crystals! Just 3 ingredients and you'll have salt crystal apples (or anything else) in two hours!

Follow along to learn how to make your own salt crystal apples. This activity is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids alike!

How to Make Homemade Salt Crystals that Look Like Apples!

We’ve always tried to give our kids educational activities and STEM activities to try, but my kids quickly got bored with repeating the same experiments over and over.

So this time, in celebration of the fall season, we made our homemade salt crystals look like delicious sparkly apples!

Apple-Themed Decorations

Here are some fun apple-themed decorations you can use to decorate your classroom or home when playing apple games or just for some fall flair!

apple treat containers

Apple Treat Containers

apple tissue decoration

Tissue Paper Apples

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Apple Mini Erasers

apple balloon

Happy Apple Balloon

apple party classroom kit

Apple Party Kit

Salt Crystal Science for Kids

If you are making salt crystals, you might want to know the science behind it!

Salt crystals form when water evaporates from a supersaturated salt solution.

As water evaporates, it can’t hold on to as much salt. The salt deposits then cling together and form square crystal shapes.

In nature, you’ll see this happen near oceans, in salt caves, and in special saltwater pools like the Dead Sea.

Apple-Themed Teaching Resources

Apples and teaching go hand-in-hand!

Add these fun apple-themed teaching supplies to your classroom (or your house, if you just love apples that much!).

apple timer

Apple Teacher Timer

apple pencil erasers

Apple Pencil Sharpeners

apple scented teacher stickers

Apple Scented Stickers

apple progress pad

Apple Progress Pad

apple silly stickers

Silly Apple Teacher Stickers

attribute apples

Attribute Apples

apple fractions

Apple Fractions

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Count and Sort Apples

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Apple Math Tree

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Felt Board Parts of an Apple

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Squishy Apples

Because a lot of these natural salt formations aren’t made of pure salt, you won’t see the square shape of the crystal as much as with homemade salt crystals.

But when you look closely, you’ll see that salt always makes a square shape, unless it has something extra added like when growing crystals with bluing and ammonia!

And of course, you can also use this crystal activity when you’re looking for fun crystal experiments to try.

You may also want to check out these other STEM activities for fall.

What You Need to Make Homemade Salt Crystal Apples

You’ll need just a few things to make these pretty salt crystal apples!

After you’ve completed your STEM activity, you can use the apples as fall decorations for the classroom.

This post contains affiliate links.

crystal science worksheet

Apple Books for Kids

Here are some colorful books children will enjoy reading to learn more about apples!

apple life book

An Apple’s Life Book

apple trees book

Apple Trees Book

apples for everyone book

Apples for Everyone Book

apples book

Apples Book

blossom to apple book

Blossom to Apple Book

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Let’s Go to the Apple Orchard Book

More Apple Activities for Kids

Get even more fun things to do with for your class with an apple theme!

Apple-Themed Shirts and Accessories

If you love to celebrate a theme as much as I do, you’ll love these apple-themed shirts and accessories!

apple teacher shirt

Mini Apple Customizable Teacher Shirt

barbie apple shirt

Barbie Style Apple Teacher Shirt

classy apple earrings

Metal Apple Earrings

teachers change the world water cup

Customizable Apple Teacher Tumbler

flower apple tote

Flower Apple Tote Bag

apple heart shirt

Apple Heart Shirt

big apple earrings

Transparent Apple Earrings

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Apple Word Cloud Tote for Teachers

Salt Crystal Apples STEM Lesson Plan

Get the complete salt crystal apples lesson plan below!

If you love science experiments and you love fall activities, you'll love this simple science experiment making salt crystal apples!

How to Make Salt Crystal Apples

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 3 days
Total Time: 3 days 45 minutes
Difficulty: easy

Learn about the science of crystal formation when you make these homeamde salt crystals in the shape of apples!


  • Salt
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Clothespins
  • String
  • Glass jars


  • Hot plate or stove
  • Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Oven mitt
  • Measuring cup
  • Scissors


  1. Here is the homemade salt crystal STEM lesson plan.


  1. Students will understand the science behind the formation of salt crystals and will be able to create salt crystals in the shape of apples using a hands-on experiment.


Two 45-minute class periods 3-4 days apart.


  • Table salt (NaCl)
  • Hot water
  • Clear glass jars
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • String
  • Pencils
  • Pipe cleaners (red, green, brown, and yellow)
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Science journals

Day 1 - Introduction and Experiment Set-Up

Do these activities on day 1.

1. Introduction to Salt Crystals (15 minutes)

  • Begin with a discussion on what students know about salt crystals.

  • Show them examples of natural salt crystals and explain their formation.

  • Explain the process of crystallization. Talk about how, when a saturated salt solution starts cooling or evaporating, salt molecules begin to settle out and organize themselves in a crystalline structure.

3. Hands-on Experiment Set-up (20 minutes)

  • Instruct students to add several tablespoons of table salt to a container.

  • Pour in hot water (about a cup) and stir until the salt stops dissolving. If all the salt dissolves, add more until you have some undissolved salt at the bottom. This ensures your solution is fully saturated.

  • Shape the apples from pipe cleaners while the supersaturated solution cools.

  • Add a stem and leaf to each apple.

  • Tie a string to the top of each apple and wrap it around the center of a clothespin.

  • Lay the clothespin over the opening of the jar, ensuring the apple doesn't touch any sides of the jar.

  • Pour the cooled supersaturated solution into the jar, covering the apple.

4. Making Predictions (10 minutes)

  • Have students to write in their science journals or STEM worksheets what they predict will happen to the apples over the next few days.

Day 2 - Observation and Analysis

Here is what to do the next class period, 3-4 days later.

1. Observing the Results (15 minutes)

  • After a few days, the solution should start forming crystals around the string and within the apple mold.

  • Remove the apples from the jars and let dry on a paper towel.

  • Instruct students to observe their apple-shaped salt crystals using magnifying glasses.

2. Discussing the Results (20 minutes)

  • Discuss the results with the class. Were their predictions correct? Why or why not?

  • Talk about how the shape of the apple was formed and how the salt molecules attached themselves to the pipe cleaners.

3. Writing and Reflection (10 minutes)

  • Have students write their observations on their STEM worksheet, including drawings of their apple-shaped salt crystals.


    • Participation in the discussion and hands-on experiment.

    • Predictions and observations recorded in science journals.

    • Full understanding of the concept of how and why salt crystals form.


    STEM Extensions

    • Experiment with other types of solutions like sugar or borax to see if they produce different results.

    • Try using different shapes or different temperatures of water to observe any changes in crystal growth.

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