STEAM Saturday – Christmas Candy Science! (12/23/2023)

Christmas Candy Science

The holiday season is in full effect, and Christmas and Kwanzaa are around the corner. We think it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll have lots of candy around the house in the coming days. If you’re looking for fun and educational activities for Winter Break, put that candy to use for some delicious science experiments from the cool folks over at Left Brain Craft Brain!!

We’ll highlight a couple of these awesome activities below, but you can check out their full list HERE!

Peppermint Orna-mints!

Christmas Candy ScienceExplore states of matter when you use peppermint starlight candies to create tasty holiday ornaments! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Starlight mint hard candies
  • Metal cookie cutters
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating up, cover your baking sheet with parchment paper, then choose your cookie cutter shapes and spray the cookie cutters with cooking spray. Fill the cookie cutters with mints.

Bake your ornaments for 10-15 minutes, checking carefully – the melt time is dependent on the shape of your cookie cutters. Turn on the oven light and watch your mints go from solid to liquid. Can you catch the moment they begin to melt?

Take your orna-mints out of the oven and let them cool and begin to solidify for a few minutes Poke a hole at the top so you can hang them. Once they are fully solid, use ribbon or twine to make them hangable!

Dissolving Candy Canes!

Christmas Candy ScienceDuring this experiment, you’ll be placing candy canes in different types of liquid. Have your child predict a) how long it will take the candy canes to dissolve in each liquid, or b) which liquid will dissolve a candy cane the fastest. We’ll be sad to see those yummy candy canes go away, but it’s all in the name of science! Here’s what you’ll need for this easy and fun chemistry experiment:

  • Several cups or jars that are the same size
  • Cold water
  • Hot water
  • Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Candy canes (you can use large ones, small ones, or do the experiment twice and use both)
  • A timer, stop watch, or smart phone

Fill each cup/jar up with the same amount of liquid. Have your child write down their predictions about the experiment. He or she can also make observations about the candy canes, take measurements, and more – whatever your child thinks will help them to determine the outcome of the experiment.

Place the candy canes in the cups/jars and start the timer. Watch carefully – things might happen quickly, and you don’t want to miss the action!

Ask your child questions as the experiment is happening. Have them write down their observations. Do they want to try any other types of liquids? What other variables might they want to change as they redo the experiment?

Don’t forget to check out many more Christmas Candy Science Experiments HERE!

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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