Chasing Cheerios

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent Snowflake Activity

Edit to add: A couple of readers pointed out that borax may be a dangerous substance. I had no idea, and I'm so disappointed because this was such a fun and easy activity. Luckily, O didn't actually touch the borax. Although she did touch the snowflake after it was finished. I guess we won't be making silly putty anymore because I think that it has borax in it, too :( Here is the link to read more about this.

I really like the idea of linking O's daily advent book with her daily advent activity, and Snowflake Bentley was the perfect book with which to start this new tradition. After reading the book, O, Elliott, and I made a crystallized snowflake ornament.

First, I made the snowflake using a white pipe cleaner. Then Elliott took over while I nursed and rocked the baby. He helped O measure and pour 4 and a half tablespoons of borax into a glass bowl. He then boiled a cup and a half of water in the microwave and poured it in the glass bowl and stirred. O put blue food coloring in the mixture. Elliott put a jar lid at the bottom of the bowl and balanced the snowflake on top of the lid. (Use 3 tablespoons of borax for every cup of boiling water. Our container needed 1.5 cups of water to completely cover the snowflake, so we used 4.5 tablespoons of borax.)

We let it sit for 24 hours before removing the snowflake from the water. We were all very impressed with our beautiful snowflake ornament, and I think we'll make more of these to give as gifts.

This was a great activity that combined arts and crafts, science, and fun!

19 comments:

  1. Wow that looks like such a fun activite. How well did the food coloring work it looks white in the photo ?

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  2. This is a beautiful snowflake, BUT: borax isn't a safe substance for mothers/kiddos to touch.

    I did some research into this because my kids loved playing with gak at our local science center. I wanted to make some at home, but became a little concerned that they'd eat some, accidentally or on purpose.

    (See http://www.magicalchildhood.com/articles/borax.htm and follow the links to reports from the EPA and NIH.)

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  3. I love this - thanks so much for posting it! I just recently came across your blog, and though my boy is not quite 15 months, I keep seeing all kinds of things I want to do with him (when he's a bit older)

    thanks again!

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  4. wow! Its just amazing what you can do with Borax!!!

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  5. Wow! Those are gorgeous! I featured this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com Grab my "featured" button.

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  6. OOO I wanted to try to make those, but forgot! Yours turned out really good.
    *hugs*deb

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  7. wow i love it. I want to do this with my kids

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  8. That looks cool, but borax is poisonous, I wonder if you could do it with a super saturated salt or sugar solution instead? Like making rock candy?

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  9. Thanks for pointing out that borax is dangerous. I'm so disappointed by that. I added the link for more info on the original post.

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  10. My daycare and I did these and I was impressed with the way they turned out. Thank you for sharing this idea. If you want to see ours check out .... http://umengine3.blogspot.com/2009/12/donemaybe.html ... it's part way down the posting.

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  11. Super pretty, though! I linked to it on my weekly roundup here. Thanks!

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  12. I just read that Epsom salts work just as well... We'll be trying it in the next few days, so we'll let you know!

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  13. Very beautiful and elegant looking!

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  14. According to this article, epsom salts do indeed work just as well. I'll be trying it with my nieces as part of their craft-a-day Christmas gift.

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