Friday, November 23, 2012


Candy Cane Science Experiment

The Christmas season is here and school time is still running!!  Candy seems to be popping up's a fun science experiment to learn a little more about all that sugar! It's a colorful, sugary science project that the kids will love.

 Depending on your children's age and ability, you can use this experiment to talk about dissolving, polarity of water (and how it is the "universal solvent," density,  experiment variables, or the structure of candies.  You can expand and enrich this experiment in many days--click here to download a free preschool-appropriate worksheet to do with your child!  The best part is that even preschoolers can perform each step of this experiment!

Simple Supplies:

* warm water
* "mini candy canes
* small bowls

Easy How-To:

1-  Fill small bowl about 1/2 full with warm water.  The warmer your water, the faster your reaction.

2- Unwrap the candy cane and place it in the warm water.  It should be completely covered.

3- In less than a minute, you should see little bubbles rising off the candy cane as the water dissolves the sugar.

4- In about five minutes, the red strip should be completely dissolved.  Most of the red dyes will sink to the bottom of the bowl.  You may see some at the top of the water as well.  (Note: Candy canes are made white, and the stripes are added as one of the last steps!)

5- After about 25 minutes, the entire candy cane will be completely dissolved!!

6- Let your child choose ways to change the variables in the experiment...does cold water affect anything?  Do M&M's behave the same way?  Does adding salt do anything?  Will it dissolve in oil?  Remember this is an experiment, not just a demonstration: let your child try changing things up to see what he or she will learn!

If you love science, be sure to check out my collection of over 150 tested and proven preschool science activities and preschool science experiments!  There is something here for everyone!

For more candy cane fun, be sure to check out my Science Experiment: Bend Your Candy Cane too!

Do you love Christmas-themed science experiments?  If so, be sure to check out my eBook, 25 Christmas Science Projects for Kids!

I also have more than a dozen fun Christmas science experiments and Christmas STEM activities in this FREE collection:

Just in case your house isn't over-flowing with candy canes already, here are two affiliate links for your convenience.  The first has mini candy canes and the second has big candy can use either!  The rainbow candy canes make a cool effect as they dissolve!

Happy Educating, Carla


Anonymous said...

Great idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...


Sharon@DiscoverExploreLearn said...

How fun !

We always end up with a ton of candy canes this time of year, and my boys don't even like them.

What a great idea to use the candy canes for some science exploration! Thanks for sharing.

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Sharon, I know just what you mean...though my kids do like to eat them too, lol! It works just perfectly with big candy canes and all different colors too! Thanks for stopping by!!

Mom said...

Fun idea!

Unknown said...

Wow, will have to try this with my boys.

You have an awesome blog and a new follower.


Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks, Kylie!

Stacey, I hope your boys love it! My favorite comment from an almost 4-year old boy was, "Wow!! That's amazing. But if I had my own candy cane I would never dissolve it...I would eat it up. Yummm!" I was happy he learned the word "dissolve," lol! said...

I totally want to try this!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Jennifer, I even had fun watching it...both times we did it!

Mud Hut Mama said...

What a fun way to include Christmas in science lessons. If I can get a hold of some mini candy canes here, we will add this to homeschool the week before Christmas.

Ashley said...

We tried skittles earlier, so now we will have to try candy canes. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Alright, you should know by now that I am a science nut! I hope you will share this on my Link-Up this week. i am sooo going to do this with my Little Mister!

Brittney said...

How fun! I was planning to do a few candy cane activities to go with a book, and I know this will be a huge hit with my science-loving son!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Mud Hut Mama, It works great with full sized candy canes too!

Ashley, Skittles are fun too--many candies have a similar effect!

lol, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk! I absolutely love science! and I've linked up at your party too!!

Brittney, What a great way to integrate a few subjects!! Have fun!!

Savannah said...

This is a great experiment. Please consider linking this post at the home school website, look what we did. -Savannah

Ann @My Nearest and Dearest said...

Neat experiment and something fun to do with the stash of candy canes we have!
Great blog; I found you through the Mom's Library Link Party.

Deb Chitwood said...

I love the idea of a Christmas science experiment ... so much fun! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

Katie said...

Oh wow, I love this idea! I've been trying to think up some Christmas-related science projects and this one will be perfect!!

Unknown said...

Super cool idea! Love this!

Charlene@APinchofJoy said...

Good lesson (and a great use for all those random candy canes that seem to show up this time of year!) Thanks so much for linking on Busy Monday!

Unknown said...

This is such a cute idea and great way to incorporate the whole christmas theme. We also did the skittles experiment at Halloween and the kids loved it. I know they are going to love this one!! Thank you! ;) <3

HannahW said...

Very creative! I bet ur little ones would like to see/try this! Thanks for sharing At Eco-Kids!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks, Savannah! I'll definitely check it out!

Ann, I'm so glad you came by!

Deb, We've been doing quite a few! Thanks so much for sharing on Facebook!

Katie, I've got another scheduled to go up today!!

Thanks, Kerri and Christy!

Charlene, Isn't it amazing how they just seem to appear this month?!!

Unknown, You can dissolve many candies--this one is a lot of fun, though!

Thanks Hannah! Yes, ours loved it!!

Unknown said...

loved this so much I featured it on this week's Mom's Library! Hop over and grab a 'I was featured on Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk" button!
Also, we are having a great Christmas Give-Away to raise awareness for the Ornaments 4 Orphans organization!
Can't wait to see what you have to link up this week!

Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole said...

I'm so excited to do this on Monday! Did you happen to share a worksheet? I didn't see it but would LOVE to have one to work in a little writing with this!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Julie, Thanks so much!! I love your linky and am so excited to be featured there!!

Nicole, Thanks so much for reminding me!! I did forget, but the link is now up and you can download it for free from my Teachers Notebook shop!

Janet said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I tried it in PreK today and had the kids enthralled!!

Erin D - The Usual Mayhem said...

Carla, how did I miss this one when it posted? I came on to get the instructions for bending the candy canes and spotted this one too. You've just made our Sunday a whole lot more fun! Thanks!

Eddie, The Usual Mayhem

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Janet, I'm so glad you and your kids enjoyed it!!

Eddie, thanks for letting me know!! It sounds like a fun Sunday!!

Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories said...

I'm adding experimenting with candy canes to our list of Christmas science activities this year. Thanks for sharing in our Challenge and Discover: Christmas Science!