Sugar crystals are fun to grow and fun to eat. They can be used as a science experiment or even a fun activity to do with your kids. It is recommended that you do it with young children since there is boiling water involved. However, this can be something that older children can help younger children do. Plus when it is all said and done the children can enjoy the treat, often called “rock candy”.
You will need water and plain table sugar for the crystal. You will want a pan and a spoon to heat the water and dissolve the sugar. Then for each crystal you want to make you will need a large glass or a glass jar, a rough string or rope, and a pencil or knife to hold the string.
Dissolving the Sugar.
The most important part of the whole process is dissolving the sugar. You will want to boil the water, either on the stove or in the microwave. Then add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Stir the water between adding sugar. You want to saturate the solution. To do this you will add sugar a little at a time until the water won’t dissolve anymore.
Attach your string to your pencil or knife. Make sure it is long enough to touch the water solution in the bottom of your glass or jar, but that it doesn’t touch the sides or the rim. Then you will want to pour some of the water sugar solution into the bottom of each glass or jar.
It should be noted that you can weight down the string with a paper clip or a weighter used on a fishing line. However, weighters are dangerous if you are going to eat them later on because they contain lead. If you are going to eat it a paper clip is the better option, but still not a great one. It is best if you can get the string to stay down without a weight and without touching the sides.
Set It Aside.
Once the set up is all done it is time to set it aside. As the water evaporates the sugar crystals will grow on the string. If you are planning on eating them then it is a good idea to cover the glasses with a towel or an upside down coffee filter to prevent dust, floaters, and even bugs from getting in the water solution. After a few days to a week you will have a crystal on the sting and no water in the jar. You can then keep them as decorations or enjoy them as rock candy.
If you are one who would enjoy bright colors or your children want to distinguish between their crystal and another’s you can add a few drops of food coloring to each glass or jar. This will let you grow colored crystals that can still be kept or eaten.
This fun editable science experiment is wonderful fun and can make a wonderful treat as well. It isn’t hard to do and can be fun to watch as they grow. Few things can offer such fun and fascination!