One of our winter projects was making a "crystalized" winter tree. The idea came from the New Child Montessori Winter Manual, and this was one of the projects I was excited to do with the kids. We also made crystalized snowflakes with the left over solution.
We started out by putting rocks into an empty coffee can, and then standing a small tree branch in the middle of the rocks.
I mixed up a batch of Plaster of Paris by pouring the 4oz plaster of paris into a bowl and mixing with 4oz of warm water.
I poured the mixture into the rocks to "set" the branch into place. I was surprised that it only took about a half an hour for the plaster of paris to set partially, but I let it sit for about 48 hours to dry completely.
Next we mixed up 6TBS of Borax and 1 1/2 cups of hot water water into a container, I also added some blue food coloring for a little color. Stir till the Borax has dissolved in the water, if you cant get it to dissolve put it in the microwave for about 2 min and that should work. We made a bigger batch of the mixture so we could make some crystalized snowflakes to add to the tree.
The kids then painted the branch with the Epson salt mixture
Let it dry for about 2-3 hours. And you have a beautiful winter tree covered in "frost."
While the tree was drying I had the kids get to work on making some "snowflakes" to hang on the tree. I took pipe cleaners and cut them into thirds (so they would be small enough to hang from our tree) we twisted 2 pipe cleaners together in the center, then added a 3rd pipe cleaner, twisted that in the center and spaced the pipe cleaners out to look like a "snowflake."
When the kids were finished with their snowflakes we set them into the left over borax solution and let them sit for about 8 hours, then we took them out of the solution and set them out on paper towel to dry overnight.
Some of the kids added beads to their snowflakes.
Anthony's snowflakes before adding the third pipe cleaners.
The finished snowflakes.
What a beautiful winter decoration to add to the kitchen table!
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Labels: Art, Crafts, DIY, Montessori, Winter