So, What the Heck Are Egg Crystals?
Right about now, you are probably asking yourself “what the heck is an egg crystal?” Well, Geodes are hollow rocks filled with a mineral formation on the inside. It takes thousands of years for geodes to form naturally, but you can make one yourself without even having to leave your house.
Egg crystals are a fun way to teach your children about science and create something beautiful in the process. With just a few simple household ingredients, you can create a crystal egg geode. This experiment with crystals is a great way to pass the time on a rainy day.
Here’s an example of a geode.
And here’s an example of the “geodes” you and your kids can make with egg crystals.
Growing Egg Geodes Teaches Kids Science In A Fun Way
Teaching kids that science and learning can be fun is a lesson that lasts a lifetime. This particular experiment is a good fit for children in grades K-5. Growing egg geodes teaches kids about how crystals grow, and it also gives you a perfect opportunity to introduce them to scientific concepts such as solvents and solutes, chemical reactions, and geology.
Geodes are not only filled with crystals but also minerals like jasper and agate. The only way to know what hidden treasure is inside the geode is to break it open. Sometimes, you even come across one that is solid inside. In nature, geodes form from sedimentary and igneous rocks. Geodes are formed when the rock forms around an empty space, such as a pocket of gas. Usually, geodes are round or oval in shape and are rarely smooth on the surface, tending to be somewhat lumpy instead.
When making your own geode at home, you use hot water and a soluble (dissolvable) solid to create what is called a super-saturated solution. This means that so much of the solid has dissolved in the water that it is incapable of dissolving anymore of the solid because there is no more space between the molecules. As the water evaporates, only the solid is left behind, creating your crystal.
Ingredients to Make Crystal Egg Geodes
To make your very own crystal egg geode, all you need are a few items that are probably already sitting in your house.
- clean eggshells
- various soluble solids, such as table salt, rock salt, sugar, baking soda, Epsom salts, sea salt, borax, or cream of tartar
- small heatproof containers (coffee cups are perfect for this)
- food coloring
- egg cartons and wax paper or mini-muffin tins
How to Grow Egg Crystals in 6 Easy Steps
Growing your own crystals is surprisingly easy. Follow the steps below to create your crystal geode using eggshells.
1. Crack the Eggs
Begin by cracking the eggs. The easiest way is the crack the egg at the narrow end and pick out the bits of broken shell.
The harder, but fancier way is to gently poke a hole in the top with a pair of sharp scissors and gently snip across so you get two half shells. (The video at the end of this article shows you how.) It’s okay if you don’t cut them perfectly, they’ll still turn out beautifully in the end.
2. Wash the eggshells in hot water.
The hot water will help to dissolve the membrane that lines the shell, making it easier to remove with your fingertips. In the hot water, rub the inside of the shell with your fingers making sure to remove all of the inner linings. Any membrane that is left behind will grow mold, and let’s just say that we don’t want this to happen. Because, eww.
Pro Tip: Steve Spangler Science suggests these extra steps: 1. Pour a glob of Elmer’s Glue into the eggshell. 2. Spread a coat of glue all over the inside and edges of the shell with a paintbrush. 3. Give the inside of the eggshell an ample dusting of alum powder. 4. Turning the eggshell upside down and tapping out the excess alum … And, 5. Letting the eggshell dry overnight before going on to the next steps.
3. Place your eggshells in an egg carton or muffin tin.
The egg carton or muffin tin will help hold your eggshells upright.
4. Prepare your super-saturated mixture.
Pour half a cup of boiling water into your heatproof container then add 1/4 cup of the solid you are using, such as salt, sugar, etc. Stir the mixture well, then continue to add more of your solid until the mixture is super-saturated, meaning no more of the solid will dissolve. Then add your food coloring.
5. Pour your mixture into your eggshells very carefully.
Being very careful, pour the mixture into the eggshell. FIll it up as high as you can without causing the eggshell to tip or overflow.
6. Sit your filled eggshells in a safe, dry place where they will not be disturbed.
Now, you wait. When the water evaporates, you will be left with a beautiful crystal egg geode. It takes about 15 hours for the crystals to form.
Decorating With Egg Crystals
Now that you have succeeded in growing your own egg crystals, you are probably wondering what to do with your newest creation. Homemade geodes are beautiful and can add a personal touch to your home when used for decoration. Naturally, they are perfect for Easter, but their unique appearance can add a special touch to your home all year round. Place your geode in a basket or on a mantle to add a special touch to your home that you and your children can also brag about having grown from scratch yourselves. Add a few candles to bring out the glimmer of the crystals and create the perfect centerpiece for any occasion.
Making your own egg crystal geodes is a win-win situation all the way around. It’s a great activity to entertain children and also teaches them about science in a fun, hands-on way. Plus, you get gorgeous decorations for your home that are inexpensive when all is said and done. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on growing an egg crystal geode today.
Watch: How to Create a Geode with Egg Crystals.
Watch the video below for more information on how to grow your own crystals.
Featured image via video screen capture