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Don’t Be Afraid To Try These 3 Christmas Tree Experiments Right Now

December 13, 2017 3 min read

It's the most wonderful time of the year and these three Christmas tree experiments will make the season even brighter!

Here in the Sassafras house, Christmas is a big deal! And after our summer-long science-filled adventure, we love to sprinkle a little science into our holiday cheer. Summer is always quick to supply us with great ideas, like these candy cane experiments, and this year was no different!

Let's dig into our three favorite Christmas tree experiments!

Our Top 3 Christmas Tree Experiments 

Don’t be afraid to try these 3 Christmas tree experiments right now

#3 - Gumdrop Christmas Trees

We loved how this classic gumdrop engineering experiment was given a holiday twist!

To build your own festive toothpick-gumdrop tree, you will need the following:

  • A box of toothpicks
  • A plate and a bowl
  • Red, green, and white gumdrops

The first thing you will do is set out the gumdrops in a bowl, the box of toothpicks on the table, and a plate for each person to build on. Then, let everyone dig into design, test, and build whatever gumdrop tree they can dream up.

{Spoiler Alert} These gumdrop Christmas trees are a fun way to test the strength of different shapes. You should see that certain shapes, like the cube, are stronger than others. And you should also see that there is a limit to how much height a certain-sized base can hold before the tree will collapse on itself.

#2 - Christmas Tree Cookies

You can’t eat these cookies, but they still make a delicious scientific treat!

To make your own Christmas science cookies, you will need the following:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Green food coloring
  • Eyedropper
  • A plate and a bowl
  • A Christmas tree cookie cutter

Start by mixing several drops of green food coloring with about a quarter of a cup of vinegar in the bowl. Then, place the Christmas tree cookie cutter on the plate and fill it two-thirds of the way with baking soda. And the real fun begins when you use the eyedropper to squirt green-vinegar on the baking soda cookie!

{Spoiler Alert} You should see lots of fizzing where the vinegar meets the baking soda. Summer, let us know that this is due to the gas, carbon dioxide, that is released when an acid, like vinegar, reacts with a base, like baking soda.

#1 - Crystal Christmas Trees

This Christmas tree experiment takes a bit of time, but it is sooooooo worth it!

To grow your own crystal trees, you will need the following:

  • Cereal box cardboard
  • Green food coloring
  • Shallow dish or plastic bowl
  • Water
  • Liquid bluing
  • Salt
  • Christmas tree template (download this for free)

You will begin by using the Christmas tree template above to cut out two trees from the cereal box cardboard. Then, add a bit of green food coloring to the edges of the cardboard tree, fit the two flat trees together, and place the 3D tree in the shallow dish. Next, mix together 2 TBSP each of water, salt, and liquid bluing and pour the mixture into the shallow dish. Set the dish where it won’t be disturbed, but will still have good air flow. The next day, sprinkle in two more tablespoons of salt. On day three, pour 2 TBSP each of water, salt, and liquid bluing into the dish, but not directly over the cardboard tree. At this point, you should be seeing crystals forming, but if not, then add 2 TBSP of ammonia to the bowl.

{Spoiler Alert} You Christmas tree will bloom with crystals as the water evaporates. As they form, the crystals will pick up some of the green food coloring creating a super cool effect! If you needed to add the ammonia it's purpose was to speed up the evaporation going on in your bowl.

Wrapping it up

Well, there you have it, our top three Christmas tree experiments! When you try one out this year, share a pic on Instagram and be sure to tag us (@sassafrassci), so we can share in the Christmas science fun!!

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