Do you end up with tons of skittles candy from holidays gone by? We certainly build a small arsenal of sugary treats, and there’s an excellent use for them too. Fun candy science experiments! Use your skittles candy and water for this classic skittles science experiment that everyone has to try! It’s a great way to teach kids about stratification.
RAINBOW SKITTLES AND WATER EXPERIMENT FOR KIDS
SKITTLES SCIENCE PROJECTS
This skittles experiment might not seem like much of a science activity, but kids love it! There are definitely some simple but important science concepts for them to learn, and they can play around with a little art too. Check out our skittles paint activity!
The biggest question of all that comes up with this skittles in water experiment is why don’t the skittles colors mix. This is also a great opportunity to practice making predictions and developing hypotheses. Read more about using the scientific method for kids.
Keep reading to learn more about something called stratification below, as well as more cool science facts kids can discover with this fun and simple skittles experiment.
Want to turn this fun skittles experiment into a skittles science fair project? Check out these resources…
FUN THEME SKITTLES IN WATER
Of course, you can incorporate many fun themes into your skittles water experiment by varying the color of the skittles and adding fun accessories like cookie cutters. You can also try this skittles science experiment with M&Ms. Plus, you can make skittles paint!
- Heart Skittles For Valentine’s Day
- St Patrick’s Day Skittles
- 4th of July Skittles
- Pumpkin Skittles
- Christmas Skittles Project
- Skittles Color Wheel
- M&M Candy Experiment
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SKITTLES EXPERIMENT
FACTS ABOUT SKITTLES
Skittles are made of ingredients that can dissolve in water. They also do it quickly, so you have neat science right away.
Dissolving candy is fun to test out with a variety of liquids and different types candy. Find out how different candies dissolve at different rates. Dissolving gumdrops makes a colorful science experiment!
WHY DON’T THE SKITTLES COLORS MIX?
While digging around for information, I learned about a term called stratification. The immediate definition of stratification is the arrangement of something into different groups, which is a lot like we see with the skittle colors, but why?
Water stratification is all about how water has different masses with different properties, which may create the barriers you see among the colors from the skittles.
Another thought is that each skittle has the same amount of sugar and food coloring being dissolved because the concentration of sugar is equal for each color; they don’t mix when they meet up with each other. If they were not equal, you would see movement from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration which is demonstrated in this osmosis experiment.
Of course, read on to find out how to set up your own skittles rainbow experiment and investigate whether the colors mix or not for you.
SKITTLES SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
This skittles experiment is so simple and goes fast, so don’t turn your back on it! Great for kids to set up and do themselves too.
- Bag of Skittles
- Water (experiment with warm water versus cold water)
SKITTLES EXPERIMENT INSTRUCTIONS:
Setting up this skittles experiment is a cinch. We decided to get creative and add an artistic element to create our rainbow skittles water.
STEP 1 : You want to empty out your skittles and check out the colors.
STEP 2: Next, lay out your plates in a good place so they won’t be disturbed.
STEP 3: Now’s the fun part, make patterns! It’s up to you how you want to place your colors. Make a rainbow or a pattern. You can experiment with placing different colors next to each other. See our fun theme variations mentioned at the beginning.
STEP 4: Once you have placed your patterns, gently pour water in the middle of the plate until it reaches all the candies and barely covers them.
NOTE: Are the results different if you use warm water instead of cold water? Set out two different plates to test the results.
It’s good to note that water molecules are more active in warm water. The candy will dissolve faster when the warm water molecules come in contact with the sugar candy. Watch a rainbow appear as the colors move from the edge of the plate to the center. Grab a stopwatch and compare different temperatures of water!
APPLYING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Now, wait, and watch to see what happens! Give your kids a chance to ask questions, make observations, and explore.
Why not make observations with the 5 senses and encourage them to look, listen, feel, taste, and maybe hear what’s happening?
Ask open-ended questions to get kids thinking! What changes could they make to this experiment? Go ahead and play with the variables! Changing up a variable even if only slightly can be a great learning experience. Learn more about variables in science!
- Could this skittles science experiment work with another type of candy?
- What would happen if you tried a different liquid and compared the results?
- What happens when you add warm water to skittles?
Learning to be a scientist is about asking questions, testing ideas, and finding solutions! With just a few simple steps, this science experiment for kids will wow you!
Although it’s not magic, this skittles science activity is magical looking for kids!
MORE FUN SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
Click on the images below for some of our favorite science experiments!
HAVE FUN WITH SKITTLES SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
Click on the image below or the link for edible science for kids.