Christmas STEM activity

Elf STEM skittles activity for kids

Elf STEM skittles activity for kids

My daughter loves experimenting with the classic Skittles experiment, so we thought we would adapt it to celebrate the festive season and the arrival of our own little scout elves.  We have had fun designing Elf STEM Skittles experiment for kids, perfect for a little STEM exploration at home.

You don’t need much equipment to try this at home. Just a big bag of Skittles, a white plate, and a jug of cold water.

Elf STEM skittles activity for kids

First we bought a couple of bags of sweets to make sure we got the colours we needed – pink, purple, red and green.

My daughter designed a simple Elf shape featuring a face and colourful hat.

Elf STEM skittles activity for kids

Then she poured a little water onto the plate. She made sure to pour the water slowly enough that the sweets didn’t move out of place, and made sure there was enough water to cover all the sweets.

Elf STEM skittles activity for kids

Quite quickly the colours leeched out from the sweets.

Elf STEM skittles activity for kids

The food colouring in the sweets is very strong and creates a pretty pattern.

Elf STEM skittles activity 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 around the plate.

The above process took a few minutes but we left the experiment out a little longer. Eventually all the colour came away from the sweets but the coloured water didn’t really change much more. My daughter was happy to eat the sweets after all this!

You may be interested in our other Christmas STEM crafts and activities:

Dissolving candy cane experiment

How to make watercolour snow paint

Grow your own Christmas tree sponge


  • Reply
    Lavanda Michelle
    December 11, 2023 at 7:48 am

    My daughter and I tried it out, and it was an absolute hit! The simple Elf design was adorable, and the colors leeching out from the Skittles created such a pretty pattern. We had a blast, and it was not just a fun activity but also a great learning experience. Your detailed steps made it super easy to follow. Can’t wait to explore more of your Christmas STEM crafts and activities!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    This is such a fun idea! I bet the kids will just love it!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    I did something like this with my homeschool kiddos awhile back and it’s my most popular youtube video. So much fun in learning.

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