During our exploration, we've learned a lot about minerals and how they have an inner crystalline structure. I decided it would be fun to run with the crystal idea, and more specifically, to spend some time exploring geodes.
Geodes are made when little gas pockets in molten lava cool and harden. Water rushes into little cracks and crevices of the pocket, depositing minerals which crystallize. We had lots of fun opening up some geodes (you can get them on Amazon) with a hammer to see what the inside looked like.
This was great fun, and I strongly suggest you try it at least once in your lifetime. Amazingly therapeutic! But I wanted to show the crazy little people a bit more about how that crystal was formed inside. They've used borax to make crystals, so we discussed that, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. And then I found this on Pinterest: http://makezine.com/2013/11/01/how-to-rock-candy-geode/
Directions on how to make rock candy geodes! Yum! In the video, two ways to form the geodes are shown, one using fondant and one using melted chocolate. We decided that the one using fondant was most similar to how an actual geode was formed, so that's what we worked with. It turned out to be a fun and yummy project!
Basically, all we did was roll out our colored fondant, putting a dark layer on the bottom and a light layer on top. Then we laid out a large piece of tinfoil, placed a dishtowel on top, and then put a small bowl on top of that like this:
We put another layer of tin foil in the bowl, making sure to keep it bumpy like a rock. Then we laid the fondant inside. When that was done, I cooked up some simple syrup, using one cup water to 3 cups sugar. I heated that over the stove until all the sugar was dissolved and the syrup was clear. The crazy little people picked some food coloring and dyed the syrup, and then I poured it into the fondant shells. We wrapped the entire thing up in the tin foil and let it sit until the next day. The crazy little people were so excited to unwrap their little geode presents!
|A Nice Shiny Package!|
After they were unwrapped, we poured out the extra liquid and any crystals that were lying on top of that liquid. And there was our geode!