Getting Creative with Candy Experiments

Your house is full of holiday candy that you’ve made New Year’s resolutions not to eat.  Your kids are bouncing off the walls, tired and crazy from the holidays, and winter weather is keeping everybody indoors.  What can you do?

With candy experiments, you can kill several birds with one stone.  Entertain your children, watch cool things happen, turn your children into artists, and get rid of the candy in ways your kids will love.

waterPut It In Water
Lots of things happen when you put candy in a bowl of water.  Some candy floats, and some sinks.  Some candy dissolves, making pools of color in the bottom of the bowl.  Holiday candy is especially fun.  Put M&M’s in water, and some of the m’s will float to the top.  (Same with Skittles and Jelly Belly beans.)




Candy canes are even more fun to play with.  If you place a candy cane in a shallow dish of water, the stripes will dissolve off and form stripes on the bottom of the dish.  (Make sure you don’t bump or stir the water!)

Melt Itmelt
You can melt almost any kind of candy and see something interesting.  Chocolate bars melt and reveal the fillings hidden inside.  M&M’s crack open.  Jolly Ranchers melt into clear puddles.  Pixy Stix powder melts and sticks together.

To do a melting experiment, cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and place the candy on the sheet.  Set in the oven at 300 degrees F and check every few minutes to see what’s happened.  Never melt a jawbreaker.


caneCandy canes are especially fun to melt.  A regular candy cane placed on a sheet to melt will melt and spread into a candy-cane shaped puddle, stripes intact.  You can also shape your candy canes into crazy shapes.  Take a piece of tinfoil, fold it several times to make a strip, and then mold your strip into a fun shape, like a zig zag or a curve.  Place the foil on a baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in the oven at 250 degrees F. Check back every few minutes until the candy cane has sagged into the shape of the foil (this can take 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the candy cane.)

Create Candy Artcandy
If your children are tired of holiday candy houses, find a different way to turn candy into an art project.

You’ve probably already done candy houses for the holidays.  Don’t worry, there are other ways to turn candy into art projects.  If you have sticky candy like taffy or Tootsie rolls, turn your candy into 3-D sculptures.  Decorate with leftover colored candies.  Children can trycandy making trains, houses, people, or anything they want to come up with (you might be surprised!)

Another way to use up the candy is to create beautiful collages.  Use Modge Podge or a glue gun (with parental supervision!) to glue/attach your candy to a piece of cardboard, posterboard, or foamboard.  Anything is possible, such as candy cane forests, licorice trees with M&M leaves, Laffy Taffy butterflies with Nerds for eyes, or whatever your children come up with.  (Warn kids ahead of time not to eat the artwork, since it has glue on it.) Candy art has a short shelf life, since some of the candy gets sticky or saggy, so enjoy it while you can!

Loralee Leavitt destroys candy for the sake of science at Her new book, Candy Experiments, contains dozens of amazing experiments including creating giant gummi worms, turning M&Ms into comets, and growing candy crystals.  Candy Experiments is available at in both Kindle and Book formats.

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