This experiment takes a little while, but it’s worth it to wow your kids with how Borax makes snow crystals out of pipe cleaner ornaments. It’s a little like how the Word of God makes us more sparkly—if we stick with it!


• Box of Borax detergent (purchased the cleaning items aisle in most grocery stores.)
• Hot water
• Wide mouth jars such as Mason Jars
• Pipe cleaners


1. Shape various Christmas ornaments using pipe cleaners. For example, shape pipe cleaners into a stocking, star, or cross. Note: The shapes must fit into the jars.

2. Tie a string to the top of the ornament.

3. Fill jars with hot water.

4. Add three tablespoons of Borax to each jar of water.

5. Lower the string so that the ornament is completely covered. And then tie the string around the top of the open jar to keep it in place.

6. Leave the ornaments in the water overnight.

7. Next day the Borax will have crystallized in the water and attached themselves to the pipe cleaner ornaments.

8. Bring the jars into class with the crystallized pipe cleaners still inside.

9. As well, bring a set of pipe-cleaner-shaped ornaments and enough of the original experiment materials to repeat it in front of the children.

10.Repeat the entire experiment for your students. Tell them that it takes all night for the results to happen. But bring out the crystalline ornaments you made at home and show them the results.


Borax is an example of a crystal. Salt, sugar, and Epsom salts are other examples.  Hot water molecules move away from each other. When you add Borax, the molecules make room for borax crystals to dissolve. But a point of saturation can be reached, meaning there will be some remaining crystals. As this water cools, the water molecules move closer together again. Crystals begin to form and build around another item in the water, such as the pipe cleaner. This is especially true as the water evaporates.


The Borax crystals are a little like God’s word. We can read the Bible and it doesn’t seem to make much difference in our lives—not right away. But the word of God sinks in slowly. We have to have patience. Our walk with the Lord is life-long. Philippians 1:6 says you should be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Someday we can be assured of being complete–like beautiful snowflakes–if we read God’s word regularly. Even though we might look like plain ole pipe cleaners while we’re reading at first!

* Image from



You might also be interested in these other awesome Christmas activities!

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