Things to do with candy canes… Why not bend and shape them into candy cane circles! Round candy canes are a great example of physical change in matter for simple Christmas science for kids. Get set to experiment with this favorite Christmas treat, and find out how to shape your candy cane.  Let’s get bending!

HOW TO SHAPE CANDY CANES

CANDY CANE SCIENCE

I bet you already have candy canes and if not they are pretty simple to pick up. Here’s a couple of ways to take bending candy canes from an activity to an experiment! Remember a science experiment tests a hypothesis and usually has a variable.

READ MORE: Scientific Method For Kids

To expand this activity into a science project, you could use candy canes from different brands. Some types of candy canes may bend easier than others. Experiment with different types and flavors. You could also experiment with baking times. Bake longer or shorter to find the ideal timing for each type of candy cane to soften.

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ROUND CANDY CANES

Is this an example of a physical change or chemical change?

YOU WILL NEED: 

  • Candy canes
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet

HOW TO BEND CANDY CANE

NOTE: Adult supervision is required for this project. Ovens are hot. You’ll also have to let the candy canes cool just a bit so that they can be safely bent.

STEP 1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

STEP 2. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap and place the candy canes on the baking sheet.

STEP 3.  Bake for 3 to 4 minutes.

STEP 4.  Bend and shape the candy while it is hot. Consider using oven mitts to bend the candy.

The candy canes will cool quickly.  Bend slowly and hold against the pan to make bending easier. If the candy canes begin to cool before you have completed making the desired shape, pop it on the baking sheet and back into the oven for an additional 3 minutes.

PHYSICAL CHANGE

Adding heat to something can cause a physical change but not necessarily a chemical change! Even though the candy cane is warm and malleable, it is still a candy cane. When it cools, the candy cane will still be the same substance but just bent into a different shape. Even if it becomes brittle and breaks apart, it is still the same exact substance, but in small pieces! Melting crayons is also a good example.

What is a physical change? A physical change is a change to the physical properties of a substance and it is usually reversible. Physical change can include changes to shape (volume and size), color, texture, flexibility, density, and mass. For example; freezing water and melting ice, and our melting chocolate! When you heat your candy cane you change the shape of it and when you re-heat it that physical change can be reversed. 

There is no new substance that is produced like chemical change or irreversible change.  For example, baking a cake or fizzing lemonade. I can’t turn a cake back into the raw ingredients,  so it is an irreversible change.

THINGS TO DO WITH CANDY CANES

HOW TO MAKE ROUND CANDY CANES FOR CHRISTMAS

Click on the photos below for more great Christmas STEM activities.