Growing Salt Crystals – Kids Love This Visual Science Experiment

growing salt crystals - a visual science experiment fun for kids

Do you recognize our salt crystals experiment from this post? It started off like this:

Growing salt crystals is a great visual science experiment for kids

We wound up with nicer crystals in the bowl where the water evaporated than on the sponge itself; I’m not sure why. We plan to grow sugar crystals next, as soon as I get organized. We’re growing mung bean sprouts in the meantime, to healthy things out a bit!

Growing Salt Crystals

This experiment was super easy to set up – we got the instructions from this science kit for littles. We dampened the cute dog-shaped sponge with some water, and mixed one cup of water with half a cup of salt, as well as a little (well, a lot of) red food coloring. Then we poured that solution over the dog and left it sitting on our kitchen counter. We poured a little more solution in the bowl every day. I don’t understand how the crystals climbed up the edge of the bowl and even onto the underside of the rim. Can anyone explain that?

Update: we tried growing sugar crystals, and it was a huge hit with the kids! As with this salt crystal experiment, we were successful in growing crystals, but they didn’t grow quite the way we expected.

Have you ever tried growing salt crystals? How about sugar crystals? Did they turn out the way you expected?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

18 thoughts on “Growing Salt Crystals – Kids Love This Visual Science Experiment”

    1. We stopped adding water after 7 days – this was a couple days after that, once all the water had evaporated. There were a few crystals on the sponge the first day!

  1. You got some amazing crystals! I remember growing crystals on string in elementary school. Will need to try this with my kids.

  2. I remember doing this as a kid!! I was so impatient to see something happening. I remember losing interest and my dad pulled it out a few days later, I was stoked! I think we made blue ones.

  3. Oh. I know this… it has something to do with capillary action. The sponge pulls the water upwards and the water brings along the salt, then the water evaporates leaving the salt behind. I suppose the container has some capillary effect too, most materials do, even some metals.

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