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Rock Crystals

Rock crystals-01


  1. plastic containers
  2. permanent marker
  3. water
  4. food coloring (optional)
  5. two rocks for each child (granite works best)
  6. Epsom salt
  7. pictures of rocks and minerals formed from water evaporation (such as
  8. quartzite, aquamarine, and emerald)


  1. Give each child two plastic containers. Help them write, "light" on one and "dark" on the other. Ask them to put their names on their containers using stickers.
  2. Explain that if they add salt to the water and let the water evaporate, the remaining salt forms rock crystals. (Explain what evaporation means.) Ask the children to pour a small amount of water into each container and add food coloring, if desired.
  3. Ask the children to place a rock at the bottom of each container. Help them spoon Epsom salt on top of the base rock until just a little stand above the water level.
  4. Place one container in the dark and one in the light.
  5. Show the children pictures of different colored stones and explain that the salt they added to their containers will eventually look a little like the rocks in the pictures.
  6. Encourage the children to watch the containers each day and describe the changes they see.
  7. Compare the results of the containers in the dark and the containers in the light.

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia Of Learning Center Activities For Children 3 to 6
Center: Science/Discovery/Nature
Topic: Rocks
Content: Science
Area: Cognitive
Age: 3 through 4 Years Old
Interaction: Large Group

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