I am pretty sure that Fall is my favorite season! So many fun fall theme science activities. We have thoroughly enjoyed apple science, pumpkin activities, Fall STEM, and even spooky Halloween science experiments. Now here is a fun fall candy corn science experiment for kids. Our dissolving candy corn experiment is a neat science experiment that is easy to set up with only simple supplies needed!
Explore Science With Candy Corn
Our fall candy corn experiment below is a great visual science experiment which you can also add some math in too. Plus, we have more fun ideas for things to you can do with your fall candy!
Fall candy corn science is also great to set up around times when your stock of candy is abundant. Candy corn, peeps, gum drops, there’s so much to explore.
All you need for this easy candy corn experiment are a few ingredients from the pantry and your favorite fall candy. My husband is big on peeps and candy corn. Neither are my favorite but somehow, as soon as the grocery store stocks them, so do we!
This year was the first time my son tasted either of them and he was hooked. Perfect time to use up some of the candy brought home and have a little STEM fun!
Check Out More Fun Things To Do This Halloween…
- Halloween Science Experiments
- Halloween STEM Activities
- Halloween Art Projects, and Crafts Too!
- Halloween Board Games
What Is The Scientific Method For Kids?
The scientific method is a process or method of research. A problem is identified, information about the problem is gathered, a hypothesis or question is formulated from the data, and the hypothesis is tested with an experiment to prove or disprove its validity.
Sounds heavy… What in the world does that mean?!? It means you don’t need to try and solve the world’s biggest science questions! The scientific method is all about studying and learning things right around you.
As children develop practices that involve creating, gathering data, evaluating, analyzing, and communicating, they can apply these critical thinking skills to any situation.
READ MORE HERE: Using The Scientific Method with Kids
Note: The use of the best Science and Engineering Practices is also relevant to the topic of using the scientific method. Read more here and see if it fits your science planning needs.
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.
- Best Science Practices (as it relates to the scientific method)
- Science Vocabulary
- 8 Science Books for Kids
- All About Scientists
- Science Supplies List
- Science Tools for Kids
- Join us in the Club
Turn It Into A Science Project
Science projects are an excellent tool for older kiddos to show what they know about science! Plus, they can be used in all sorts of environments including classrooms, homeschool, and groups.
Want to turn this experiment into an awesome science fair project? Check out these helpful resources.
The Science Of Dissolving Candy Corn
Candy corn dissolves in water because water is really good at breaking apart the tiny pieces of sugar in the candy. Both water and sugar are polar molecules. When the candy corn is added to the water, the water molecules surround the candy molecules and pull them away from each other, making the candy disappear into the water.
When you place candy corn in warm water, the higher temperature causes the water molecules to move more energetically. This increased movement allows the water molecules to surround and interact with the sugar molecules in the candy corn more rapidly, leading to a faster dissolving.
In cold water, the reduced temperature means that the water molecules have less kinetic energy and move more slowly. This slower movement results in a slower interaction with the sugar molecules in the candy corn, causing it to dissolve slower.
Unlike water which is a polar molecule, oil is non polar. In oil, there is no significant attraction between the nonpolar oil molecules and the polar sugar molecules. Oil cannot break apart the sugar crystals, so candy corn does not dissolve in oil.
Polar substances, such as the sugar in candy corn, dissolve in polar solvents, such as water, while they do not dissolve in nonpolar solvents, such as oil.
Vinegar is a polar substance, and it contains water and acetic acid, which adds to its polar nature. Is vinegar a better solvent than water to dissolve the candy corn? Let’s find out!
Candy Corn Experiment
Apply the scientific method, by investigating which liquid candy corn will dissolve fastest in. The dependent variable is the time it takes to dissolve the candy. The independent variable is the type of liquid. Learn more about variables in science.
- Candy Corn (look for the gumdrop like pumpkins too!)
- Peeps (ghosts and pumpkins)
- Various liquids – water, vinegar, oil, seltzer, lemon juice, soda
- Clear cups
TIP: I used my iPhone as a timer for the dissolving candy experiment but any timer will do. You could also make a water clock timer for a fun extension activity!
STEP 1. Measure and fill clear cups with each of the liquids you are using. We used 5 liquids: cold water, hot water, oil, vinegar, and seltzer as our potential solvents.
STEP 2. Place the candy in each of the cups and start the timer. Observe what happens to the candy in each liquid.
We did two rounds. In the first round, we used peep candy (both pumpkins and ghosts). In the second round, we used our candy corn.
It was perfect to use two different candies because we quickly found out that the peeps floated, but the candy corn sank. They also have two very other dissolving times, which raises some interesting questions.
It was particularly interesting how the waxy layer on the surface of the candy corn pulled away from the candy first. We actually repeated this part a couple of times since my son was so interested in it!
Which liquid dissolves candy corn the fastest? Make your predictions and test your theories! This is a much quicker dissolving candy experiment if you need results right away!
We did the exact same experiment with pumpkin and ghost peeps. I left the timer running for quite a long time. Peeps float which creates a whole new kind of experiment.
Would you do anything differently to change the experiment? The results over an extended period of time were interesting.
Bonus Candy Corn Activities
Build A Candy Corn Tower
While we had the candy corn bag out, I grabbed a container of toothpicks to see if we could build structures with candy corn. It is challenging but not impossible! There was some trial and error and the candy corn will break if you are not very careful. We discovered some techniques for making it work though.
Overall the candy building activity taught problem solving skills, creative thinking, and patience even if it did not yield incredible structures. Gumdrops are much less frustrating for structure building if you need an alternative!
Candy Corn Oobleck
Make a batch of our oobleck recipe and read about the science behind it. Add a handful of candy corn and observe both the cool science behind the activity and the dissolving candy! Makes great tactile sensory play too.
Candy Corn Slime
Our soft and squishy candy corn fluffy slime is perfect for fall slime making activities with kids. The base for this candy corn slime uses one of our most basic slime recipes which is glue, shaving cream, baking soda, and saline solution.
More Fun Candy Experiments To Try
- Floating M&M
- Pumpkin Skittles Experiment
- Starburst Candy Slime
- Dissolving Candy Fish
- Gummy Bear Osmosis
150+ Pages of Halloween-themed materials!
This Halloween project pack is suitable for home, school, and group use for kids in grades Kindergarten through elementary but is scaleable for many ages and abilities.
- 25+ Halloween 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 Halloween engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve!
- The skeleton activity pack includes building a skeleton challenge and a coding challenge! Try a skeleton bones bridge-building STEM challenge!
- Halloween theme brick printable activities for hands-on learning with math that is perfect for early finishers or home fun and reinforces basic math concepts.
- Bonus fun pack includes games and activities to round out your Halloween theme activities such as I Spy, bingo, matching, Would You Rather cards, scavenger hunt, word search, A-Z Halloween hunt, and a coloring page.
- Halloween STEAM Pack includes artist-inspired projects by Warhol, Lichtenstein, and more!