f all the simple science experiments for kids we’ve made, we absolutely love this one using salt to cover feathers with crystals to do the salt crystal feathers science experiment. So pretty for any time of year!
We’ve kind of gone a bit nuts here recently with salt crystals. We started with salt crystal witch tools for Halloween, then we made salt crystal leaves. But when we saw these colorful feathers, we absolutely knew we had to cover them in salt crystals.
What we love the most about salt crystals is how easy they are to make.
We’ve tried other kinds of crystals, but they just haven’t worked as well or held up as well. Epsom salt crystals look pretty, but they disintegrate quickly. Borax crystals are fun, but they take a long time to grow!
We tried making sugar rock crystals a few weeks ago, and we just couldn’t get them to crystallize. Our alternative is salt crystal feathers, and they make one of our favorite simple science projects.
As a bonus, salt is super cheap, making this one of the least expensive thanksgiving science projects you can make.
HOW TO MAKE SALT CRYSTAL FEATHERS
Follow this guide and learn how to make these beautiful salt crystal feathers during the fall or any time of year!
They are so pretty, kids will want to make them over and over!
THE SCIENCE BEHIND SALT CRYSTAL FEATHERS
Salt crystals form due to the high concentration of salt in the water. When the water evaporates, the salt has to go somewhere.
When the feather is placed in the water, the salt molecules (NA and CL) bond together around the feather. Over time, the salt crystals get bigger.
Salt crystals always form a square or rectangular shape, which we think is quite pretty!
Growing Crystals Science Fair Project Hypothesis
If you want to do the salt crystal feathers project as a science fair project, you need a hypothesis. You could compare the amount of salt to see which amount produces the biggest crystals.
In that case, the hypothesis would be that the more salt, the bigger the crystals.
Another variable to test is time in the salt water. Does leaving the feathers in the water longer lead to bigger crystal formation?
Another possible hypothesis could be that a salt crystal will always have a square shape, no matter what it is grown on.
Think about your own questions that you can answer with this salt crystal science experiment!
Simple science projects for the win!
Salt Crystal Science Project: How to Make Crystal Feathers
Follow along with these directions to make your very own salt crystal feathers!
Here is what you’ll need to make your own crystal feathers:
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HOW TO DO THE SALT CRYSTAL FEATHER EXPERIMENTS
First, make your salt crystal water. We started by filling our mason jars with water. We then poured that water into a pot and added our Salt. Boil the water until the salt dissolves.
Keep adding salt until the pot forms a layer of crystallized salt on top of the boiling water. It looks a bit like ice.
When you have that much salt in the water, you know it will work. In fact, it works quite quickly.
Pour the salty water into the mason jars. At this point, you’ll have a layer of salt in the bottom of the pot.
You can leave that out of your containers. They will crystallize just fine without it.
Dip the feather into the jar and set it in a sunny window.
Your crystals will start to form in just a couple of hours.
However, for the level of crystal in our photos, we left our feathers in the water for about three days.
After three days, remove the feathers from the water. Let them dry overnight.
The next day, your feathers will be encrusted in square salt crystals.
Look at them with a magnifying glass for even more sciencey-fun.