Crafts for kids St Patrick's Day crafts STEM activity

St Patrick’s Day skittle experiment

St Patrick’s Day skittle experiment

My daughter loves experimenting with Skittles and we had fun experimenting with the classic Skittles experiment, and adapting it for a little Halloween science, Christmas science and New Year STEM fun. We thought it would work just as well for St Patrick’s Day so designed this St Patrick’s Day Skittles experiment for kids, perfect for a little STEM exploration at home.

St Patrick’s Day STEM 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 find a timer if you want to record how quickly the colour changes.

St Patrick’s Day skittle experiment

The first thing to do is take out the green skittles from the bag. Then you make the sweets into a 4 leaf clover shape on the plate. This was the trickiest part and we experiment quite a lot until we were happy with the shape.

Then pour a little water onto the plate, slowly enough that the skittles don’t move out of place, but enough to cover them.

St Patrick’s Day skittle experiment

Quite quickly you can watch the colour leech from the Skittles. The food colouring in the Skittles is very strong and creates a pretty pattern, drawn to the centre of the plate.

St Patrick’s Day skittle experiment

So why does this happen? Well the Skittles are made from sugar and corn syrup amongst other ingredients. The sugar and food colouring dissolve easily as the water touches them. The coloured water then slowly moves towards the centre of the plate.

St Patrick’s Day skittle experiment

The above process took about 2 minutes but we left the experiment out a little longer. Eventually all the colour come away from the sweets but the coloured water stays the same.

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


1 Comment

  • Reply
    Di Hickman
    February 27, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    Oh how fun! I gotta say I laughed a little at the top pic cos I was like “skittles?” these look like peas!

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