THE BEST CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENT TO DO AT HOME WITH CHILDREN: THE CRYSTALLINE FOREST

When I was little I loved to experiment. Ever since the first Quimicefa I had seen appeared in my house back in the 90s, I tirelessly dedicated myself to following that manual of experiments to the letter to see what would happen. Solutions, stains, or Ph's were beginning to form part of my vocabulary, and while playing with test strips, I unconsciously began to take a more serious interest in chemistry.

Whenever my parents were present, they used to say things like: Don't mix so many things that we'll still come out on fire...How to forget those phrases!

Those were other times, and many parents thought their beloved child would blow up their house if they tinkered with chemicals.

And this is the point I wanted to get to: the lack of scientific education and how to solve it.

INITIATE YOUR CHILDREN IN THE EXPERIMENTATION

Why distrust, or instill fear in children. Everyone knows that they are sponges eager to learn and experience, and our parental duty is to take them by the hand and guide them in this new world.

Every parent should watch over that, but how do we do it? Maybe you don't have the necessary foundation to put them into practice, and the answer is the previous documentation.

Today there are hundreds of homemade experiments that we can do, perfectly explained and described on the internet. The web is an inexhaustible source of knowledge and I strongly encourage you to make use of it.


First of all, document yourself, look for a simple experiment suitable for children of all ages and study carefully what chemical or physical principles act in it, so that you can then explain those whys to your little ones.

Once this is done, acquire all the necessary materials, and if you accept a piece of advice, make sure you acquire what is necessary, without looking for alternatives that, on the other hand, can lead to disappointment.

Once you have everything ready, explain to the family what you are going to do and the expected result, so they will know what to expect and it will give them peace of mind and predictability, remember that this is science and not magic. We are not in a television show. This point should be made clear.

So with everything ready, we present what I think could be a good candidate for your first family experiment, the CRYSTALLINE FOREST

THE CRYSTALLINE FOREST, THE STAR SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT

The objective of this experiment, very simple to carry out, is to create, from crystallization, a series of figures in a liquid medium that remind us of a forest.

What materials do you need:

  • A transparent glass container
  • Sodium silicate (“liquid glass”)
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Mineral salts, such as: ferrous sulfate, cupric sulfate, cobalt chloride, nickel sulfate, calcium nitrate, manganese sulfate, ferric chloride.

First, we will prepare the medium in which our forest will grow. We put the sand inside the glass container, the water and the sodium silicate. When all the elements have settled in the container and the medium appears crystalline, we will begin to deposit, preferably one by one, the crystals of the mineral salts.Try to place them strategically, because once they start the chemical reaction, they will grow vertically, but randomly, so if you put them too close together it is likely that when they grow, they will end up intertwining and can break

And why is this happening? Metallic silicates do not dissolve in water and this means that when the silicate anion present in the liquid glass interacts with the various metallic cations of the salts, this "growth" is produced, giving rise to vertical forms. This process usually takes a full day to finish, so PATIENCE. Your forest will last a few days, but it will end up collapsing.

TRY NEW EXPERIMENTS

Now that you know how to start experimenting to arouse the curiosity of the whole family, you just have to follow the instructions that I have given you in this article, and let your imagination run wild...And remember! NEVER TELL the little ones that they will blow up the house, who knows... Maybe you have a future chemist at home!!!

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