Science, Christmas, and candy all in one perfectly simple activity to try with the kiddos this season. Our Christmas Skittles science activity is a fun twist on the classic experiment. You will love how easy it is to set up and try with kids of all ages this holiday. Enjoy hands-on Christmas science experiments for kids!

Explore Candy Science For Christmas

Have you tried our classic skittles experiment?  I thought it would be fun to give the kids a holiday themed science activity so we changed up the original a bit and added in some Christmas colors and patterns.

We have a whole season of fun Christmas theme science activities to try. Repeating experiments in different ways really helps to solidify understanding of the concepts being presented. Holidays and seasons present numerous occasions for you to re-invent some of these classic activities like this simple Skittles activity.

Check out our classic skittles video to watch the action before trying yours!

All Kids Can Be Scientists!

So what exactly is a scientist and how can you encourage your kids to be scientists without a whole lot of effort, fancy equipment, or difficult activities that create confusion rather than curiosity?

A scientist is a person who seeks to acquire knowledge about the natural world. Guess what? Kids do that naturally because they are learning and exploring the world around them. All that exploring brings up a lot of questions!

A good scientist asks questions as they explore the natural world, and we can further encourage this with simple science experiments. Knowledge is gained through all of these questions, explorations, and discoveries! Let’s help them by providing fun science activities that really spark their inner curiosity.

This Christmas skittles experiment is quick and gives kids that instant gratification they so crave! Being curious, trying different theories, investigating, and exploring are all important when it comes to science. Not every science experiment needs to be deep and probing!

While this skittles science is a simple activity for the kids, they are usually in awe of it (especially the first time they see it). Hands-on, easy to grasp, and pretty to look at it is really a great activity/experiment to include in your holiday lessons.

Helpful Science Resources To Get You Started

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

The Science Behind This Skittles Experiment

Skittles science demonstrates a process called stratification. What is stratification? Notice how the colors of the skittles dissolve into the water but don’t mix with each other.

The term “stratification” is commonly used in science to describe the layering or separation of different materials based on their densities or solubility. Specifically, here you can see water stratification.

Water stratification refers to the effect where the colors of the dissolved Skittles candies do not evenly mix and form distinct layers of colors within the water. The stratification is a result of the different solubilities and densities of the colored dyes used in the candy’s shell.

When Skittles are placed in water, the shell begins to dissolve. The colors on the shell are water-soluble, meaning they can dissolve in water (the solvent). However, the different colors in Skittles contain different food dyes and pigments. These dyes dissolve at different rates, with some colors being more soluble in water than others.

As a result, some dyes dissolve more readily and move through the water faster, while others dissolve more slowly and remain closer to the Skittle.

This unequal dissolving of dyes can create distinct layers or gradients of colors within the water. You might observe the colors creating a gradient or separate layers in the water, with the least soluble colors taking longer to disperse and blend. It’s a visual demonstration of how different materials behave in a solution.

Over time, with gentle stirring or as the experiment continues, the colors may eventually mix more thoroughly, but initially, you can observe the effect of water stratification as the colors form separate layers or patterns in the water.

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Tips For Skittles Experiment

  • You can also try arranging the Skittles into a Christmas theme shape like a candy cane or tree! It’s a great hands-on activity for kids of multiple ages to enjoy (especially if there’s a bit of tasting involved).
  • Remember you can try this with M&M’s too and compare or contrast the results.
  • You can experiment by setting up one plate with warm water and one with cold water or other liquids like vinegar and oil. Encourage the kids to make predictions and observe the differences!
  • Or  you can even experiment with different types of candies!
  • Kids will have so much fun creating their own arrangements and patterns with the skittles. You should definitely have multiple plates handy!

TIP: You will want to set this up someplace where it won’t be bumped into but where you can easily watch the process unfold!

Christmas Skittles Experiment

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT: All the best EASY Christmas Science you need right here.


  • Red and Green Skittles Candy
  • Water
  • White Plates
  • Christmas Cookie Cutters
Christmas skittles science activity suppliesPin


STEP 1. Set out a bowl of red and green skittles or you can let the kids sort them out themselves (save the rest of the colors for another time!

Let your child have fun arranging them in a pattern around the plate alternating colors in any number they like- singles, doubles, triples, etc…

TIP: Pop in a Christmas shaped cookie cutter to the center of the plate just to add a little more of the theme and some additional color.

Arranging a skittles pattern on a plate to learn about water stratificationPin

STEP 2. Before pouring in the water ask your child to form a hypothesis- What will happen to the candy when it is wet? This is a great time to work in a little deeper learning, you can find information to teach your child about the scientific method here.

Carefully pour water into the center of the cookie-cutter until it just covers the candy. Be careful not to shake or move the plate once you add the water or it will mess up the effect.

pouring water onto skittles for the Christmas skittles science activityPin

STEP 3. Watch as the colors stretch and bleed out away from the Skittles, coloring the water. What happened? Did they mix? What if you used clear soda instead would that change the outcome?

water starting to become green and red from skittles science activity Pin

Keep your eyes peeled for the results!

skittles Christmas science activity almost fully dissolved on platePin

Note: After a while, the colors do begin to bleed together.


More Awesome Christmas Science Experiments

More Fun Christmas Activities For Kids

Printable Christmas STEM Project Pack


  • 25+ Christmas theme science and STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials perfect for limited-time needs. Includes a holiday theme engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve! NEW observation sheets included.
  • Try a Santa’s Letter airplane challenge or take the gingerbread house-building challenge! 
  • Explore the five senses with a specially designed Santa’s Lab pack.
  • Try a mini nature study with your favorite type of Christmas tree.
  • Try your hand at building shapes with gumdrop structure challenge cards or build shapes with jingle bells. Or try the Christmas-themed paper chain challenge!
  • Christmas Screen-free Coding activities include algorithm games, binary code ornaments, and more!
  • Explore 6+ Christmas Art Projects with famous artist-inspired activities that combine art history, process art techniques, and more with simple to-do ideas. 


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