4 Candy Science Experiments That Will Wow Your Kids
If you think about it, kids are born scientists. From the time that they pop their tiny fingers (and toes!) into their mouths, babies are experimenting and learning about the world around them. Of course, they learn by looking, touching, listening, and smelling as well, but it seems there is something especially satisfying about chewing, sucking, and slobbering on objects.
As kids grow and develop, they continue to use all of their senses to explore and make discoveries. Once your kids have graduated from slurping on toes to sucking lollies, why not let them continue in their discoveries by combining sweets and science? Here are a handful of tasty, edible science experiments that are fun for any candy-loving kid:
Glass is not typically a material you would encourage your kids to play with, but in this case, it is not only safe but also edible and educational. Real glass forms when grains of sand and other minerals are melted together at a high temperature and then quickly cooled to prevent crystallization. In a similar manner, melting grains of sugar with other ingredients and then cooling down the mixture produces edible glass. The corn syrup and water in the recipe act as modifiers that suppress crystallization.
Kids can learn about the process of crystallization following the recipe and instructions at Lasso the Moon. To experiment, you may want to see what happens if you speed up or slow down the cooling process. When you are done, crack the candy into pieces and discover how good glass can taste.
Colorful Candy Science
You don’t always have to make candy to use it in science experiments or science fair projects. Some kids’ candy experiments incorporate their favorite store-bought treats to discover new concepts. Shelley of 123 Homeschool 4 Me put together a roundup of tests using a rainbow of sweet treats that help kids learn about what happens to different candies when they are exposed to water.
The science concept children will learn from these experiments is called water stratification. Stratification occurs when water forms with different properties like density, oxygenation, salinity and temperature, which prevent it from mixing in the same way. With nothing more than a variety of colorful candies and some water, they can view this concept firsthand.
Growing Gummy Bear Science
Osmosis is a process in which a solvent moves from one region to another through a membrane, taking place on a molecular level. The molecules spread from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. The process may sound a bit complicated, but you can exemplify it using water, salt, and gummy bears. Sounds simple enough, right?
Preschool teacher turned stay at home mom Noirin Lynch shares this entertaining candy science experiment on Playdough to Plato. If you have ever brought home one of those tiny plastic toys that you plop into water only to watch it morph into an upsized, slimier version of itself, you will find this project familiar. Kids will compare gummies left to soak in plain water with those steeped in a saltwater solution. Predicting what will take place and learning about osmosis is a part of the scientific process; eating the control gummy bears when the experiment is over is another.
DIY Pop Rocks Candy Recipe
If you are a child of the 80s or 90s, you might remember the urban legend about Mikey from the Life Cereal commercial coming to an untimely demise after eating pop rocks and sipping a soda. Fortunately, the human stomach is elastic enough to withstand this amount of carbonation (and “Mikey” is alive and well and working as a director of media sales, at last report), so this kids’ candy experiment is a safe one.
Not only does this project, shared by Sam Ushiro on her blog Aww Sam, teach kids about gases, but they can also boost their math skills by measuring the ingredients for the recipe. Once you have made and tasted the candy, you can use it for other science experiments, such as placing a balloon filled with pop rocks onto the mouth of a bottle of soda to see what happens when the candies drop inside.
With these fun and delicious kids’ candy experiments, your child can learn that there is more to science than lectures and memorization. Whether kiddos opt for candy science fair projects or simply come to realize that science has a hand in so many different things, you will surely have a sweet experience together.
What are some of your favorite (edible) science experiments? Share with us!
Cover image by Aww SamTags : education science experiments activities