This is a nice little festive experiment that can be used to introduce your child to chemistry, and the concept of solutions, crystallisation and evaporation. It’s very simple, and it can be done with either a ready-made kit, like the one featured in the time-lapse video below, or you can make your own at home (see the suggested variations at the end of this post).
What Will You Need? The easiest way to do this experiment is to purchase a ready-made kit, and of those available, we’d recommend one by Tobar. UK-based parents can purchase this kit by clicking here, while USA-based parents can purchase one by clicking here.
How Long Will It Take? It will only take a couple of minutes to set up this experiment, but it will take at least twelve hours to run. It’s best to set it up first thing in the morning so your child can check on its progress throughout the day. Alternatively, you can run it overnight, but you child won’t be able to see how it changes over time, they’ll only see the end result.
What Age Of Child Can Do This Experiment? Due to the use of chemicals in this experiment, it is not suitable for children under the age of ten to conduct it on their own. Younger children, however, can still watch this experiment progress, as long as it is set out of their reach, and will still be fascinated by it. NOTE: Please read and follow the safety instructions which accompany your magic Christmas tree kit very carefull before doing this experiment.
What Core Life Skills Will It Help Develop? A basic knowledge of chemistry should be a core skill for everyone to develop. This is because much of the modern world is based around the results of chemical reactions. A knowledge of chemistry is also useful for identifying misleading advertising, and not being taken in by bogus claims about the supposed benefits of many over-the-counter health, dieting and beauty products. This is a great experiment to use to introduce your child to the world of chemistry, and in particular to the concepts of solutions, crystals and evaporation.
Variations: If your child enjoys this experiment, then they can try repeating it at different temperatures and with different strengths of the chemical solution used to make it. This will result in crystals of different sizes and possibly shapes. However, if you wish to repeat this experiment several times, it will be cheaper if you make your own version rather than rely on the ready-made kits. You can find out how to make your own magic tree kit in the video below.
About The Author: This post was written by Colin Drysdale, the creator of How To Raise A Happy Genius.
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