Christmas Crafts for kids STEM activity

Dissolving Candy Cane experiment

Dissolving Candy Cane experiment

My 9 year old loves an easy science experiment at home. I wanted to try a fun experiment with her but with a Christmas twist and came up with a really fun dissolving candy cane experiment. My daughter just loves a candy cane and the skittles experiment we did earlier this year inspired us to do something similar with candy canes. This simple winter craft activity is great for keeping kids entertained whilst learning.

For our Candy cane experiment you will need:

Pack of candy canes

Plastic beakers

Sticky labels

Different liquids

Measuring jug

Dissolving Candy Cane experiment

Dissolving Candy Cane experiment

Candy canes are pretty much pure sugar with a little food colouring, which means this makes this simple dissolving candy cane experiment is perfect for all ages.

This easy winter craft activity is great for keeping kids entertained whilst having fun. I’m a huge fan of STEM play, and children don’t realise all the skills they are using whilst exploring what happens to the candy canes in various liquids!

First you need to gather your equipment. We decided which liquids we wanted to try dissolving our candy canes in and the children chose tap water, sparkling water, milk, coke and vinegar. Then they carefully measured the same amount of liquid into each plastic cup to make sure it was a fair experiment. You can judge the amount by eye or use a measuring cup or jug.

My son carefully prepared sticky labels for each cup, just to make sure we didn’t mix up the liquids.

Dissolving Candy Cane experiment

At this stage we decided to predict the results. Each child had a piece of paper where we wrote down each liquid and put them in the order we thought the candy cane would dissolve first.

Next we placed a candy cane upside down in each cup and set a timer going to record the results.

Dissolving Candy Cane experiment for kids

The results were not as quick as they were in our Smarties experiment but you could see the effect each liquid had on the candy cane. We sat and watched as the candy canes dissolved in the liquids, turning them a strange colour.

We noticed that the piece of candy cane in the liquid gradually dissolved away and the remainder collapsed into the liquid. At this stage we recorded the time and made a note of it until all five candy canes had collapsed.

Dissolving Christmas Candy Cane experiment

Our predictions didn’t turn out as we expected they would. We predicted that vinegar and coke would help the candy canes dissolve the fastest but it actually turned out that they dissolved quickest in water. They had all dissolved within 45 minutes so this isn’t the quickest experiment but it’s great for getting the children to talk about what is happening and see how their predictions turn out.

 

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

How to make a water compass

Grow your own salt water crystals

Skittles vs Smarties experiment

How to dye white flowers with food colouring

Make your own watercolour snow paint

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Nick
    January 3, 2021 at 11:09 am

    I too would have expected the candy canes to dissolve fastest in vinegar or coke, as they are both acidic. Would be interesting to know why they dissolved fastest in water. I may have to try this experiment myself! Great article, by the way.

  • Reply
    Nayna Kanabar
    January 3, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    What a lovely idea to do this experiment and teach science to kids at home. The results were unexpected but that is how we learn.

  • Reply
    Fizzy Christmas cookie cutters - the-gingerbread-house.co.uk
    January 10, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    […] experiment so we could combine some Christmas fun with hands on learning. The kids loved our Candy Cane experiment and were excited to try another experiment at home. A few years ago we had so much fun making […]

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