Fun Science Facts for Kids All about Crystals - Image of a Crystal
Fun Science Facts for Kids All about Crystals - Image of a Crystal

Here’s a project for you: place a black sheet of paper on a cookie sheet. Set the paper outdoors the next time it snows. Allow a few snowflakes to fall on the paper. Bring the cookie sheet indoors and look at the snowflakes through a magnifying lens. What do you see? That flat snowflake actually contains many tiny crystals.

Crystals are solid materials that have a highly ordered atomic structure. They are formed through a process called crystallization, where atoms or molecules arrange themselves in a repeating pattern. Crystals can be found in nature, such as quartz and diamond, or they can be artificially created. They have various uses, including in jewelry, electronics, and medicine, due to their unique properties like transparency, hardness, and ability to transmit and store energy.

Crystals Facts for Kids

  • Crystals form in nature over time.
  • They have regular shapes and patterns.
  • Diamonds and quartz are crystals.
  • They grow from a solution.
  • Some crystals can change color.
  • Salt and sugar also form crystals.
  • Each crystal has unique properties.
  • Crystals can be big or small.
  • Snowflakes are crystals.
  • Some crystals are used in electronics.
  • Salt crystals are cubic in shape.


Children are naturally attracted to the marvel and beauty of crystals, which are a unique part of the natural world and encompass a special category within minerals. Crystals are solid, inorganic substances that occur naturally, formed by a precise pattern of interconnected molecules, resulting in a distinct shape for each crystal.

Examples of such minerals include salt, diamond, and quartz. The world’s largest recorded crystals, the gypsum crystals, are found in Mexico’s Cave of Crystals and can reach impressive lengths of up to 36 feet. Crystals, varying in color, size, and shape, are found globally.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, crystals also hold practical significance, such as quartz used in watches and some believed to possess healing properties in alternative medicine.


Gemstones, a specific type of crystal, are incredible natural formations that originate from a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. These gemstones often formed deep within the Earth over millions of years, are a result of atoms combining in specific patterns under extreme heat and pressure, creating these stunning structures.

Each gemstone, whether it’s ruby, emerald, or diamond, possesses a unique formation pattern that enhances its color and sparkle. Beyond their aesthetic appeal often utilized in jewelry, these gemstones also serve functional purposes in daily essentials like watches and in specific industrial tools.


Crystallography, the scientific exploration of crystals and their unique structures should be understood as more than just the study of beautiful, shiny objects. Children, in particular, should be educated about the fascinating atomic structure of these crystals, each comprising a regular repeating pattern that forms a crystal lattice, contributing to their distinct shape and color.

Common crystals such as diamonds, emeralds, and everyday substances like salt and sugar are part of this vast domain. Hence, the next time a child sprinkles salt on their food, they should be reminded of the fact that they are utilizing minuscule crystals, thus instilling an appreciation for the science of crystallography.

Crystal formations

Crystals, captivating natural formations with diverse shapes and colors, manifest when a liquid solidifies upon cooling or water evaporates from a mineral solution. As these processes occur, the atoms or molecules composing the crystal arrange themselves repeatedly, shaping the crystal’s distinctive structure.

Notable examples of these crystalline structures include quartz, diamonds, salt, and sugar, which may require thousands to millions of years to form. Consequently, every crystal encapsulates a small fragment of Earth’s geological chronicle.

Crystal healing

Crystal healing, a fascinating concept embraced by many, suggests that specific crystals can enhance one’s health or mood by interacting with their energy.

This is based on the belief that crystals, such as amethysts reputed to calm the mind and rose quartz known to foster love and peace, carry energy that can influence ours when they come into contact with our bodies. They can be positioned on various parts of the body or adorned as jewelry to exert their effects.

However, it’s crucial for younger individuals to comprehend that while engaging with crystal healing can be an intriguing venture, it should never replace medical advice or treatment provided by healthcare professionals.

Crystal structures

Crystals, while aesthetically pleasing, are also scientifically intriguing due to their unique structures. These structures are formed by the orderly and repeated arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules in various directions, creating distinct, often symmetrical shapes.

For instance, the cubic or isometric crystal structure is characterized by atoms configured in a cube-like pattern, while other crystal structures such as hexagonal, tetragonal, and orthorhombic are differentiated by the shape of their ‘unit cell’, the simplest repetitive unit in the crystal.

Minerals in nature often adopt these geometrically pleasing crystal structures. Therefore, a crystal is not merely a beautiful stone, but a remarkable exemplification of scientific marvel.

Quartz crystals

Quartz crystals, one of the most widespread minerals found in the Earth’s crust, offer a captivating and educational subject for children to learn about due to their unique properties and worldwide occurrence. These crystals, which can display a spectrum of colors including clear, pink (Rose Quartz), black (Smoky Quartz), and purple (Amethyst), are formed through the combination of silicon and oxygen under specific conditions within the Earth’s crust.

What sets quartz crystals apart and makes them highly valuable, not just for their aesthetic appeal but also for their practical application, is their ability to generate electricity when pressure is applied, a phenomenon known as piezoelectricity. This property is harnessed in an array of everyday technologies, from wristwatches and radios to computer chips, showcasing the significant role quartz plays in our daily lives.

Crystal growth

Crystal growth, an enlightening scientific experiment for children, occurs when a liquid solution containing substances like salt or sugar begins to cool and solidify. During this process, the atoms or molecules within the solution assemble in a distinct pattern, creating a unique crystalline structure.

The dimensions of these crystals largely depend on their growth duration, with the size increasing over time. Each substance, when crystallized, yields uniquely shaped and colored crystals – cube-shaped for salt, oblong for sugar, and triclinic and blue for copper sulfate.

This fascinating phenomenon not only introduces children to science but also cultivates patience, and imparts an appreciation for the aesthetics of nature.

Crystal lattice

Children often find the intriguing structures of crystals captivating, especially when learning about the idea of a crystal lattice.

A crystal lattice is the unique and symmetrical arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules in any crystalline material, repeated in a 3D pattern extending in all directions throughout the entire crystal. This specific, repeating pattern is what gives a crystal its distinctive shape, resulting in unique forms of crystals such as salt, diamonds, and quartz.

The lattice structures, however, vary between different types of crystals, leading to a diverse range of crystal appearances.

Crystallographic symmetry

Crystals, known for their beauty, also possess an intriguing scientific aspect termed crystallographic symmetry, which pertains to the uniform and balanced distribution of atoms within the crystal structure.

Upon closely observing the minute constituents of a crystal, one would notice a repetitive pattern extending in all directions, similar to the symmetrical halves of a perfectly cut piece of paper. This symmetrical pattern, which remains unchanged even after rotation or inversion, contributes to the unique shapes and properties of crystals, indicating the fundamental role of internal symmetry in establishing their distinct physical attributes.

Fun Science Facts for Kids All about Crystals - Image of a Crystal
Fun Science Facts for Kids All about Crystals – Image of a Crystal

How do crystals form? Crystals occur in minerals and other chemical compounds, including sugar, salt and ice. In minerals, crystals are created when molten rock or dissolved minerals cool and become solid very slowly. The atoms in minerals cling to each other by electrical forces. As they stick together, they form three-dimensional patterns.

What Shapes Do Crystals Form?

  • Cubic crystals, which resembles a box and has 6, 8 or even 12 sides.
  • Hexagonal or trigonal crystals, which have six or three sides.
  • Monoclinic crystals, which looks a bit like a multi-faced box.
  • Orthorhombic crystals, which may look like two pyramids stuck together.
  • Tetragonal crystals, which resemble a cube, but have one elongated side.
  • Triclinic crystals, which may not be symmetrical.
All about Crystals Fun Science Facts for Kids - image of the Different Shapes of Crystals
All about Crystals Fun Science Facts for Kids – image of the Different Shapes of Crystals

Fun Facts About Crystals for Kids

  • Crystallography is the scientific study of crystals and their formation.
  • Gemstones, like rubies, emeralds and sapphires, are crystals. The elements they are made up of determine their color.
  • A unit cell is what they call the basic building block of a crystal. It is the smallest arrangement of atoms that shows the crystal structure.
  • The ions and atoms, or actually their charges, must equal zero. A crystal will not form if the positive and negative charges of its components are different.
  • Some of the largest natural crystals in the world are found in the Cave of Crystals in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico.
  • The most common crystals you may be familiar with are table salt, snowflakes and pencil lead (graphite).

Crystals Vocabulary

  1. Crystal: a geometric structure usually created through heating and cooling minerals and other compounds
  2. Molten: a solid that has melted due to high heat
  3. Atom: a basic unit of any element

All About Crystals Video for Kids

Here’s a great video for kids on Crystals:

Crystal Q&A

Question: How do geodes form?

Answer: When water in the Earth becomes hot enough to dissolve minerals in the rocks, the minerals are carried in the water where it seeps into cracks and holes in the rocks. When it cools, cavities filled with sparkling crystals form. These are geodes.


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