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.
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.
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.
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.
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: