My youngest son has been fascinated with gemstones and rocks for as long as I can remember.
The interest has intensified and waned and then intensified again over the years. As a result, he has gathered quite the collection.
When we moved last week, he asked if he could use a built-in display area (probably meant for china) in our dining room to house his gem collection. Because I don’t even have china and because he is so dang cute, I said yes and we got to the task of arranging and rearranging all his beautiful treasures.
Since then, he has been increasingly interested in all things crystals, gemstones and rocks again.
Wanting to seize upon this opportunity, I decided our Friday FunDay should incorporate this interest.
We started by reading the crystals section in one of his science books. (Incidentally, this book is fabulous! We got it as part of the Beautiful Feet, History of Science study and the experiments are perfect for him.) Although he knew a lot about crystals in general, he was excited to learn more about how crystals are formed.
One Pinterest search later, and we had an activity to make our own crystals using some of the sea shells from our last beach trip. Science and summer all wrapped into one fun afternoon!
Friday Fun-days: 52 weeks of Easy For Mom Activities
What You’ll Need For This Project
Full credit and disclosure: For this activity, I was happy to use the directions provided by Little Bins for Little Hands. I just moved y’all. My brain does not have the ability to create an activity on its own right now.
Approx. 3 cups of water
Glass Containers (we used Mason Jars)
Grow Your Own Crystals Summer Activity
STEP ONE: Boil the water.
STEP TWO: Add 4 TBS of Borax for each cup of water. (We used three cups and a total of 12 TBS and it worked perfectly!)
STEP THREE: Place a shell in the bottom of each glass container. Make sure the shell is not touching the sides of the container.
STEP FOUR: Pour water mixture over the shell, ensuring that it is completed covered.
STEP FIVE: Watch the crystals begin to form! (A full 24 hours will give you the best results.)
My son was pretty impressed with his results and I loved that he was able to essentially pull this one off on his own, with only a bit of help with the boiling water. This was a fun, easy way to incorporate his interests into a little bit of summer learning.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.