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Paper Frost

What you need:

  •  Box of Epsom saltsItems needed for paper frost experiment
  • Tablespoon
  • Large bowl
  • Kettle
  • Water
  • Small paintbrush
  • Sheet of black construction paper
  • Adult helper

What you do:

  1. Have your helper pour 1/2 cup hot water into a large bowl.
  2. Add Epsom salts to the hot water and stir. Keep adding salts until they no longer dissolve - you will see a layer of salt at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Paint a design on the sheet of black construction paper with the paintbrush and salt solution.
  4. Allow your design to dry. A "frost" will appear on the black paper once it is completely dry.
  5. Compare your "frost" crystals to the salt grains. What do you notice?

What's going on:

You made frosty salt crystals! Water from the salt solution evaporated into the air after you painted it onto the paper. The salts do not evaporate like water. They re-crystalize or join together to form lumps. We see them when the lumps get big enough. The crystals look like frost on the black paper. In the film industry, studios use salt frost instead of real frost when shooting a movie.

Now try this:

Add food coloring to the salt solution. Does this change the frost color on the paper?


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