This Crystal-Growing Kit Gets Kids Excited About Science

Encourage STEAM skills with a craft that allows your kids to make dazzling crystal dioramas.
Sep 19, 2019

Ages

8-12

klutz activity kit crystals

Sep 19, 2019

There’s something magical about crystals. They bring to mind fantastical creatures like dragons and unicorns, but growing crystals doesn’t involve magic at all — it’s science! Things like diamonds, common quartz, and even table salt all contain atoms that have snapped together like puzzle pieces in repeating patterns to create gorgeous geometrical forms known as crystals. Each type of crystal has its own special mixture of atoms.

When Klutz sent me the Grow Your Own Crystal Mini Worlds kit to try out, I was excited to see how well it would work. As a science educator, I’ve grown several kinds of crystals throughout the years and know that the results can be inconsistent. Depending on conditions, crystal-growing experiments can yield either thrilling or disappointing results. It was rewarding to discover that this kit resulted in beautiful crystals, which my 13-year-old happily assembled into dioramas. Get your crystal kit below, and read on for my full review and photos of our dazzling creations! 

Alum crystals are some of the prettiest that home scientists can grow. The Grow Your Own Crystal Mini Worlds kit brilliantly combines science and art in a box, making it safe, simple, and fun to grow these crystals. What’s more, it teaches young learners how crystals form and taps into their creativity by letting them use the results of their experiment to create "mini worlds" to put on display.

Aside from items that most people have on hand, like jars and measuring spoons, the kit contains everything you need. The box includes alum powder (aluminum potassium sulfate), dye tablets, and a tiny plastic dragon and unicorn. There is even colorful sculpting clay! My favorite thing about this kit is the well-written booklet that accompanies the project. It contains helpful photographs, detailed instructions, and even a Lab Safety section (which is extra important for young scientists).

An adult is required to help with hot liquids, but aside from that, kids will be able to read the directions and complete the project themselves, which will give them confidence when they tackle science labs at school. There are also plenty of great ideas to help kids get started with their dioramas, including how to make clay sea sponges to enhance a crystal coral reef scene.

The crystal science explanation pages in the booklet do a nice job of describing, in simple terms, what a crystal is. Illustrations depict how alum molecules attach to the seed crystals on the pipe cleaners, and are accompanied by written descriptions of the science. There is also a description of what alum powder is, where it is found on Earth, and real-world applications — including how it gives pickles their crunch (amazing, right?). 

This kit is perfect for science lovers with a creative streak, but even non-artists will have a blast growing sparkling alum crystals. It gives kids something beautiful to create, plus the confidence to rock their science classes throughout the school year. 

For more Klutz kits that encourage STEAM skills, check out these DIY bath bombs and this LEGO gadget kit. You can shop all activities and books at The Scholastic Store

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