Christmas STEM activity

Christmas tree Skittles experiment for kids

Christmas tree Skittles experiment for kids

Although we’re not yet in December we couldn’t resist a little Christmas experiment this weekend. My daughter loved experimenting with Skittles and we had fun experimenting with the classic Skittles experiment, and adapting it for a little Halloween science too. We thought it would work just as well for Christmas so designed a Christmas tree Skittles experiment for kids.

Christmas tree Skittles experiment for kids

You don’t need much equipment. Just a big bag of Skittles, a white plate, and a jug of cold water. You could also grab a timer if you want to time how quickly the colour changes.

Christmas tree Skittles experiment for kids

The first thing to do is separate the green skittles from the bag. We added a few different coloured skittles too, to make a tree trunk and for baubles.

Then my daughter created a Christmas tree shape from the green skittles on the plate. She added yellow Skittles for a star, a few extras for baubles, and used purple coloured ones for the trunk.

Christmas tree Skittles experiment for kids

The next step was to pour a little water onto the plate, slowly enough that the skittles didn’t move out of place, but enough to cover the sweets.

Gradually the colours leeched from the skittles. The food colouring in the Skittles was very strong and created a really pretty pattern, drawn to the centre of the plate.

Christmas tree Skittles experiment for kids

So why does this happen? Well the Skittles are covered in sugar and food colouring which dissolve as the water touches them. The coloured water then slowly moves towards the centre of the plate.

Christmas science for kids

The above process took about 2 minutes but we left out the experiment for about 30 minutes. The end results weren’t so pretty but all the colour came away from the sweets and there was very little left of anything!

You may be interested in our other science experiments for kids:

How to make a water compass

Grow your own salt water crystals

Dissolving candy cane experiment

Egg in vinegar experiment for kids

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Rhian Westbury
    November 25, 2021 at 11:03 am

    This is such a cool little idea, I love how the colour of skittles comes out, it’s how we used to do vodka when I was in my early 20’s haha x

  • Reply
    Rebecca Smith
    November 26, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    This is such a cool experiment! The kids have an inset day on Monday so will definitely do this with them!

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