Sugar Rock Crystals Experiment
It takes approximately one week for the crystals to grow so it's best for you to make some ahead of time for the children to eat at the party. It's also fun to show the children how to make the crystals. Prepare a demonstration that includes how to make the crystal formula and an example of the final product. At the end of the experiment, give each child a copy of the recipe below.
The recipe below makes one sugar crystal.
- 1 cup of water
- 3 cups of sugar
- A pencil
- A clean pipe cleaner
- A mason jar or a large glass
- Food coloring
- A paper towel
- Orange or lemon extract (optional)
- In a sauce pan, over medium heat, boil 1 cup of water and 3 cups of sugar. Stir as the mixture heats. You should notice the sugar dissolve.
- Once the mixture starts boiling remove from the stove immediately.
- Add 10 drops of food coloring. The color you add will be the color of your rock crystal.
- If you'd like your rock crystal to have a little flavor, you can add 1 drop of orange or lemon extract to the mixture.
- Pour the syrup into a glass jar or large glass. Fill it up all the way to the top.
- Wrap the pipe cleaner around the pencil two times. The pipe cleaner should hang vertically off the middle of the pencil. Your crystal will grow around the pipe cleaner and the pencil will hold it in place.
- Dip the pipe cleaner into the jar of syrup and let the pencil rest on the edge of the jar. Make sure the pipe cleaner is in the center of the jar.
- Cover the opening of the jar with a paper towel so that dust does not settle inside.
- It will take one full week (7 days) for your rock crystal to be ready to eat. Be patient but have fun checking on it every day. It's a good idea to scoop out any sugar crystals that form around the edge of the jar. The goal is to have the crystals form around the pipe cleaner.
- After one week, place the crystal in an empty jar or glass and let it dry for 1 hour.
- At this point, you can finally eat your rock crystal or save it for later.