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Gift Lab: Connor’s Kit for Kids

The weather’s warming up, Memorial Day has passed and soon school will be out for summer! Customer Service representative Seneca and her son, Staccato, are excited to get in some quality mother-son time this summer. Their first project? Conner’s Kit for Kids—Crystal Explosion. Seneca hopes the activity proves educational. Will Staccato find the kit entertaining as well?

1.) Product name: Connor’s Kit for Kids–Crystal Explosion.

2.) Background Research:

My 9-year-old son and I are always looking for new and fun ways to spend some quality time when at home. I want him to have fun. However, learning and exploring new things is a top priority. Lucky for me, my son loves science! We recently completed a Science Fair project for school, yet still had the science bug and wanted to do more…for fun! Enter Connor’s Kits for Kids. We decided to try the Crystal Explosion first.

3.) Hypothesis:
This hands-on experiment is kid friendly and one of the easiest and most fun kits I have ever seen. This will encourage him to have confidence in his own ability as well as show him how fun learning (and science) can be outside of school!

4.) Experiment:
We took all of the items out of the packaging to ensure that we had everything and set them out on the table. The following items are included:
3 large plastic cups
1 small plastic cup
2 pieces of string
2 wooden stirrers
1 plastic bag
1 bag of crystalizer mix

We had all of our items in front of us and I told my son to feel free to grab the directions and follow along as I watched. He was hesitant at first, worrying about creating a mess or not getting the experiment right. The instructions are very easy to follow and any mess can be easily cleaned. How do I know this? Well, we did indeed have a mishap and spilled some of the crystalizer mix on the table and wood floors in our house. Easy clean up! I was also impressed by how simple each step was and my son had no trouble at all following along.

1. He poured 2 1/2 cups of the crystalizer mix into one of the larger cups first. (This is where the spilling accident occurred).

2. He then filled the small cup with hot water twice, pouring both into the larger cup with the crystalizer mix. (The directions note that the temperature of the water from the tap should be at least 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Ours is a bit hotter, so I provided my son with the water in a measuring cup so it could cool a bit before he used it. Don’t fret! The temperature of most people’s tap water is indeed 108 degrees Fahrenheit. )

3. He stirred the water and crystalizer mix with one of the wooden stirrers for two minutes until much of the crystalizer mix was dissolved. (Timing is very important for this experiment so we had a timer handy.)

4. We then let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

5.  Once the 5 minutes was up, he stirred for another two minutes with the wooden stirrer. (Don’t be concerned if there’s still a lot of the un-dissolved crystalizer mix left in the cup. As long as you used the correct temperature water and stirred for the noted time, you’re fine!)

6. He got one more of the large sized cups and poured the mix that he made into it, leaving all the un-dissolved crystalizer mix behind. (At this point we worried about making sure that none of the un-dissolved mix got into the new cup. However, the directions noted not to be concerned if a small amount snuck into the new cup.)

7. It was finally time to put this new cup in our refrigerator. We found a good place on the bottom shelf where it would not be disturbed.

Note: There are two other experiments that you can do with this kit. We tried a second, which has the same directions as above except that the final cup mixture was left in a windowsill where it would receive a lot of sunlight instead of putting it into the refrigerator. The third experiment we have not yet done. It involves placing one of the formed crystals into a fresh batch of the water/crystalizer mix. This is done by attaching it to the string and dangling it from one of the wooden stirrers into the mix and letting it sit.

What we did next:
1. We removed the cup from the refrigerator after 5 days. (The instructions say to remove it after 24 hours or more. We did not see significant results after 24 hours and my son decided he wanted it to sit longer.)
2. He then used his fingers to gently hold the crystals in place as he poured the liquid out. (He poured it into the drain, which is safe as per the directions.)
3. He also removed the cup from the windowsill, repeating the same careful draining process.

Note: The crystals are VERY fragile so be careful! After they dry out, we placed them in the plastic bag that was provided for safekeeping and travel to show his friends!

5.) Results:
My son and I were both pleasantly surprised by how easy these experiments were, and look forward to trying the third! The experiment took only about 15 minutes to do (not including the time in the refrigerator and windowsill of course!) and we enjoyed the control we had over how big to grow the crystals. We found that the crystals in the window formed faster; however, the ones in the refrigerator were larger. The kit also includes a great FAQ section, which has information about the crystalizer mix as well as how the crystals are formed. This experiment is a great way for your child to feel independent and learn in a fun way! I hope to check out the other kits with him soon and watch my little scientist go to work!

What Staccato thought:
“I felt this experiment was very fun! I liked all of the steps it took to make the crystals. It was also fun to do the experiment with my Mom because we never did an experiment like this together before. It was interesting to see how the water helped to turn the mix into crystals and to watch them grow every day. I would not mind doing an experiment like this again.”

Written by Cassie

Cassie spends most of her time at work writing things. She loves books (including comics), sketch comedy, and sci-fi. She's inspired by art and science. As a former Minnesotan, she longs for an afternoon on a lake, Grain Belt in hand. The New Yorker in her is happy spending that afternoon at the American Museum of Natural History instead.

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