Salt Crystal Leaves Experiment

Salt Crystal Leaves Experiment

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is going on a walk after dinner with the family. I love the crisp fall air and the feeling that I'm working off some of those extra bites of delicious food.¬†ūüėč

If your family happens to also enjoy a walk in nature this Thanksgiving, gather a few fall leaves along the way for a salt crystal experiment. ūüćĀ If you come up empty-handed (like we do here in Florida), we have you covered! You can use the fabric leaves we've included in your kit.

Salt crystal leaves give the appearance of frost on a fall leaf. The kids will love this easy fall science experiment!


Supplies in your kit

  • Salt
  • Clothespins
  • Yarn
  • Fabric leaves

Supplies from home

  • Pot to boil water in
  • Spoon
  • Glass jars (our example uses 3)
  • Pencils
  • Real leaves (optional)

Here's a great video from BOUNDLESS BRILLIANCE that walks you through the steps!

supplies needed to make salt crystal leaves


Step 1: Find jars that will fit each of your leaves (we included supplies for up to 3 jars) and fill the jars with water. Then pour that water into a pot to boil.

Step 2: While you are waiting for the water to boil, you can begin preparing your leaves. We've included yarn and clothespins to accommodate various styles of jars and leaves. The goal is to suspend each leaf inside of the jar without touching the sides as much as possible. The jars I had intended to use were too small so I had to improvise!

Step 3: Pinch each leaf stem with a clothespin, string the yarn through the coil or in the pinching end, and tie tightly around the top of the jar.

Alternatively, if there's a long enough stem on your leaf, you can tie one end of the yarn to the stem and the other around a pencil (or any other stick). Then, balance the stick on top of the jar so that the leaf hangs freely inside.

fabric leaf suspended in an empty cup fabric leaf suspended in an empty cup fabric leaf suspended in an empty cup

Step 4: Once your water reaches a boil, pour in half a cup of salt and stir until it dissolves. Keep adding salt until the water is saturated with salt. The salt won't dissolve anymore and a thin film or salt layer will form on the surface of the water. The amount of salt needed depends on the amount of water, but I had to add a LOT of salt!

Step 5: Carefully pour the salt-water solution into each jar until the leaf is fully submerged.

Step 6: Leave the jars in a sunny area to cool and try to move them as little as possible. The salt crystals should start to form overnight but may continue to grow up to a week!

Step 7: Remove the leaves and dry them with a paper towel. Admire your creation and observe the differences between the different leaves.

See BOUNDLESS BRILLIANCE for an explanation of the science.

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