Updated: Nov 9, 2021
We can’t help it! We’ve been living in the Middle East for the last 12 years and this whole repatriating to Canada thing has us grasping at ALLLLL the fall and winter things!
There is no limit to the number of times a day the girls ask “but when will it start to snow?!!!!!” and so we had to appease their excitement somehow Enter: faux, ice-covered pinecones!
They are extra magical with hot cocoa and magnifying glasses and we hope you’ll join the sparkly fun!
WHAT YOU NEED:
*** PLEASE NOTE THIS SHOULD BE DONE WITH AN ADULT! Borax is a chemical and should not be ingested.
1 1/4 cup of Borax
4 cups boiling water
glass jar with large opening
ruler or stick
HOW TO MAKE:
If you don’t already have a massive pinecone stash (ha!), go for a nature walk to collect some!
Wrap a pipecleaner around the wider end of a pinecone. Try to tuck it under the scales so it remains hidden.
Wrap the other end of the pipecleaner around a ruler or a stick. The ruler will sit on top of the glass jar to allow your pinecone to remain suspended in the Borax solution!
Pour 4 cups of boiling water and 1 1/4 cups of Borax into a glass jar. Use a spoon to mix them together until the Borax has dissolved.
Rest the ruler (with the pinecone attached!) on top of the glass jar. Make sure the pinecone is suspended in the solution and that it is not touching the sides of the jar.
Allow your pinecone to crystalize overnight! No moving or touching, no matter how excited you are!
Remove the pinecone from the Borax solution. You can trim off the pipecleaner so it remains unseen. Allow your pinecone to dry off on a paper towel.
p.s. We were able to suspend multiple pinecones in the same solution by using a wide-mouthed vase
Older kids can research the science of crystallization.
Younger and older kids will enjoy looking at their pinecones with a magnifying glass!
Moms might wish to use these pinecones for winter centerpieces
Not all pinecones look the same. What are some similarities and differences between the pinecones we collected?
How many scales does your pinecone have?
What observations can we make about our pinecones?
What do pinecones do?
Where do pinecones come from?
How can we stay safe during this activity?
How do you think the crystals form?
What do the crystals look like?
THINGS TO CELEBRATE & ENCOURAGE:
following family guidelines during nature walk
engaging safely in activity
securing pinecone to ruler or stick with pipecleaner (this can be tricky!!)
proper use of measuring cups
showing patience while crystals form overnight
We were always a bit nervous to make our own crystals but, TRUST US, they are way easier than you think! No need to be intimidated! Jump in and enjoy the magic of Borax crystals