Who said playing with your food was a bad thing? When you collapse on the couch after days of fall festivals and trick-or-treating with over a pound of candy, we suggest you reconsider that advice. Why not use some of that candy to learn something new, instead of downing it all as you binge-watch your favorite show? Last week we posted some ideas for giving away your candy, but if that’s not your thing we’ve got another idea. Here’s a collection of some of the internet’s best candy science experiments. We hope you find one that energizes you to give it a try. If you try it out, be sure to let us know how it went in the comments!
5. Skittles Stratification
This experiment is very simple and you’re nearly guaranteed to have the supplies needed. With just a little bit of water, a plate, and a package of skittles you can create beautiful masterpieces that help you discuss stratification with your kids. Check out the blog Little Bins for Little Hands for detailed instructions and extensions!
4. Floating Letters
M&M’s are famous for melting in your mouth, not your hand. That’s because there are two different parts to the candy shell coating. There is a thin layer that is not water-soluble on the outside of the shell that helps protect the inner water-soluble layers. To see this in action, you can place M&M’s (Or Skittles!) in water and wait a few days. Over time, the layers come apart and you can actually see the clear shell and printed letters floating on the top of your cup while the inside of the shell with the color dissolves and mixes with the water. Steve Spangler Science has more details for you and instructions here. If you’ve got a patient kiddos, try out this experiment!
3. Grow Gummies
Teach your kids about the process of osmosis with this fun experiment! You’ll place gummy bears in water and salt water to observe how solutions of different concentrations seek equilibrium through osmosis. Learn more about the science and get instructions here.
2. Dancing Frankenworms
Make your kiddos squeal and giggle at these goofy dancing gummy worms! The science behind this one is a classic: the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar. But somehow no matter how often kids play with baking soda and vinegar, the explosiveness of their reaction never ceases to excite. This popular children’s blog Playdough to Plato shares the break-down for how to get your worms to wiggle.
1. Mentos & Diet Soda
If somehow you’ve been living under a rock or without internet, we would be remiss not to mention this now-famous experiment. If you drop Mentos into a bottle of Diet soda you get a 20+ foot geyser explosion for a few seconds. It’s messy. It’s explosive. That’s why it’s so much fun. Steve Spangler science has a very thorough explanation here for how to do this easily which explains the science behind it well. Basically, the surface of the mentos have tiny craters that create bubbles of CO2 and quickly release them as they begin to dissolve. All these bubble rush to the top at once, creating a ton of pressure that shoots the soda out the top.