My kids are obsessed with crystals, are yours? There’s something about those magical, sparkly stones that just captures the imagination. Maybe it’s because they are a natural phenomenon? Maybe it’s because they belong in the realm of fossils and dinosaurs? I don’t really know, but every time we go to a museum or somewhere on holiday that sells crystals in a gift shop, my two are mesmerised. It’s a kind of magnetism that draws them in!
Anyway, they have long loved the idea of growing their own crystals, but a quick glance on Pinterest told me it wasn’t as easy as all that! So, when we were given the opportunity to try out the Nickelodeon Experimake Colourful Crystal Creations kit, I knew there would only be one answer!
We’ve had science kits before. We’ve had oh so many science kits!! I love something which is fun and educational, and am really into STEM or STEAM as it’s known. My kids think they are really cool too, but I must admit that sometimes they are a bit of a disappointment. There is often not much science involved in them really! But I found this kit different, and here’s why: –
- Firstly, it has pretty much everything in there that you need. Sounds obvious, right? But so many science kits don’t include everything, and you end up with disappointed kiddos because you don’t have any baking soda, Epsom salts, or other random ingredients that happened to be ‘not included’!
- Second, it has good scientific explanations. Really good, detailed stuff. A whole booklet of real science. Brilliant
- Thirdly, it’s not too fancy.They haven’t tried to make it into a toy. Maybe that’s because it’s aimed at older children, but I like that it’s not tacky. Again, good, solid science.
So, on with the science. My kids were very keen to try this. They are ages 9 and 11, so ideal for this type of experiment. They are somewhat independent, but still need some guidance regarding safety, and some explanation, either from me or the very helpful booklet, which I encouraged them to read carefully. The boys made a short video of their work:
One thing I will say about growing crystals is that it takes patience. The booklet may say to leave for a day, but it takes much longer (especially if you want decent results). We left the crystals in the petri dish for over a week. You could see a slight difference in a day, but for all the water to evaporate took over a week. The fish probably took 3 or 4 days at least. As you will see from the video, the fish also broke. These things are really delicate, so be prepared to handle with care. That’s another reason this kit is better for older kids – there is no instant gratification. There may also be some disappointment, so feel free to learn from our mistakes!
As well as the fish without a tail, we tried to use our smaller crystals to grow big crystals (the final experiment in the book) but had a few mishaps.
- Firstly, if you put the formed crystal into water that is even slightly warm, it will dissolve and you’ll have nothing.
- Secondly, if you sensibly kept back more than one crystal in case of disaster (like we cleverly did!), and repeat the experiment, putting the mug on a windowsill in the hope that the water may evaporate quicker, it will also dissolve, because even in Scotland the sun comes out occasionally, and will heat up your water and then… see point above!
- If you then leave the mug for another week with the bare thread dangling, because Dad said that’s how he used to make crystals, nothing will happen (except a soggy thread!). It’s a very delicate process. Crystals are precious and don’t appear for just anyone, y’know. So, experiment 6 is still eluding us. We have one crystal left to try… wish us luck!
If, however, you have some brilliant scientists who would love the chance to try growing crystals for themselves, you are in luck! We have another kit to give away, and it’s all yours if you are the lucky winner of our competition! Simply complete the grid below – the more actions you complete, the more chances to win. That’s not rocket science at all! Good luck!
If you are not lucky enough to win this time, you can find the Nickelodeon Experimake Colourful Crystal Creations kit here. We think it would make a great gift for a girl or boy aged 8+.
Terms & Conditions are contained within the Rafflecopter widget, and are also detailed below.
The giveaway is detailed at http://www.familymakes.com/2017/10/30/crystal-creations-giveaway
The giveaway will close at 12.00am UK time on 18th November 2017.
You must be 18+ and resident in the UK to enter.
There is ONE prize of a Nickelodeon Experimake Colourful Crystal Creations kit, and there will be ONE winner
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Once a winner is confirmed, a Family Makes representative will contact the winner.
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Prize details are accurate at the time of promotion; the promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of greater or equal value.
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The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw the promotion due to circumstances beyond its control. Neither Family Makes nor any other respective agents involved with this promotion shall be liable for any failure that is caused by something outside its reasonable control.