KIDS KORNER

Updated 01/31/2009

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Kids, if you don’t like the taste of toothpaste that your Mom buys, why not make your own? Before you do, check with your Mom or Dad first.

In a plastic ziplock bag, place

4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon water

One or two drops of food flavoring extract

(such as orange, mint, strawberry)

Mix together.

Crystal Snowflakes

Materials: Pipe cleaners

Thread

Wool

Water

Borax (20 Mule Team Borax)

Disposable container

NOTE: Adults must supervise this project. Be sure to read the safety information on the Borax box.

1. Create the snowflake shapes from pipe cleaners. Cut one pipe cleaner in three pieces and twist them together in the center. Tie a thread or wool around each of the arms to create a circle. Take one pipe cleaner and twirl it into a spiral shape. Take two pipe cleaners and twist them together in center. Bend the pieces to create square or rectangular sections of the snowflake.

2. Choose a container that is wide and deep enough to allow the snowflakes to float freely. Find a stick or ruler that can sit across the top of the container. Use the thread to tie the snowflakes to the stick.

3. Have an adult heat some water to boiling and pour it into the container. Add about 1/4 cup of borax (see the following notes) for every 2 cups of boiling water. Stir until it dissolves. If all the borax dissolves, continue adding more borax until a bit is left undissolved.

4. Put the stick over the container so that all the snowflakes are floating in the borax solution. Try to arrange them so that they don’t touch each other.

5. Leave them overnight to let the crystals form.

Notes:

- Borax is a mineral that is commonly sold as a laundry booster. 20 Mule Team Borax is a brand found in the laundry section of a grocery store. Do not use laundry soap with borax added.

- Borax is a chemical and must be handled with care. Never leave it where young children can get to it. Don’t leave the crystal solution where children or pets could accidently drink it.

- Use in well-ventilated area.

- In case of accident, follow medical treatment recommended on the package.

Hints:

- Use colored pipe cleaners to create colorful snowflakes.

- Try adding food coloring to the solution to get colorful snowflakes.

 

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