This post may contain affiliate links. View the full disclosure statement for more details. Sign up for the Schooling a Monkey newsletter to gain access to more hands-on activity ideas!
Of all the simple science projects we’ve made, we absolutely love this one using salt to cover feathers with crystals. So pretty for any time of year!
We’ve kind of gone a bit nuts here recently with salt crystals. We started with salt crystal witch tools for Halloween, then we made salt crystal leaves. But when we saw these colorful feathers, we absolutely knew we had to cover them in salt crystals.
What we love the most about salt crystals is how easy they are to make.
We’ve tried other kinds of crystals, but they just haven’t worked as well or held up as well. Epsom salt crystals look pretty, but they disintegrate quickly. We tried making sugar rock crystals a few weeks ago, and we just couldn’t get them to crystallize. Our alternative is salt crystals, and they make one of our favorite simple science projects. As a bonus, salt is super cheap, making this one of the least expensive science projects you can make.
Simple Science Projects for Fall: Crystal Feathers
Here is what you’ll need to make your own crystal feathers:
First, make your salt crystal water. We started by filling our mason jars with water. We then poured that water into a pot and added our Salt. Boil the water until the salt dissolves. Keep adding salt until the pot forms a layer of crystallized salt on top of the boiling water. It looks a bit like ice. When you have that much salt in the water, you know it will work. In fact, it works quite quickly.
Pour the salty water into the mason jars. At this point, you’ll have a layer of salt in the bottom of the pot. You can leave that out of your containers. They will crystallize just fine without it.*****************
Your crystals will start to form in just a couple of hours. However, for the level of crystal in our photos, we left our feathers in the water for about three days.
After three days, remove the feathers from the water. Let them dry overnight. The next day, your feathers will be encrusted in square salt crystals. Look at them with a magnifying glass for even more sciencey-fun.
Salt Crystal Science
Salt crystals form due to the high concentration of salt in the water. When the water evaporates, the salt has to go somewhere. When the feather is placed in the water, the salt molecules (NA and CL) bond together around the feather. Over time, the salt crystals get bigger. Salt crystals always form a square or rectangular shape, which we think is quite pretty! Simple science projects for the win!
More Fall Fun
Join the Homeschooling 101 group for more hands-on teaching ideas!