Drop a Warhead in baking soda water, and bubbles erupt. Leave a Skittle in water, and the S floats to the surface. Melt a Starburst, and shiny oil spots form. You're doing candy experiments--science experiments with candy.

Melt Halloween candy. Dissolve Valentine hearts. Float Easter Peeps. Or let your kids create their own candy science experiments.

Candy experiments. All candy. All science. All fun.

As seen in Family Fun, Parents, Mothering Magazine, Highlights, the Chicago Tribune, ParentMap, Miami Family, and The Red Tricycle

Smart Start cereal versus Froot Loops

What kind of a Smart Start is Kellogg's Smart Start cereal? One with more sugar than Kellogg's Froot Loops!

Froot Loops cereal has "only" 24% sugar, while Smart Start cereal contains a whopping 36%.

Here are the full labels:

Smashing Peeps Candy Experiment

Put candy in a cooler with dry ice, then smash it to smithereens!

When you freeze a marshmallow, the molecules get locked in place and the marshamallow becomes a brittle solid. Smash it, and it breaks into fragments, just like any other piece of ice.

From Candy Experiments 2

Cheating "Cheesy" Cheetos (from PureFoodKids)

Cheetos aren't supposed to be health food. They're just crunchy fun.

But they're made with real cheese--that sounds healthy, right?

Actually, there's more salt than cheese. More citric acid than cheese. There's even more yeast extract than cheese.

There's also more sugar than cheese...what? But the label listed 0 grams of sugar!

In fact, FDA rules state that any ingredient weights be rounded to the nearest whole number. So if a product contains less that 0.5 grams of something, it can be rounded down to 0. Once serving of Cheetos might contain 0.49 grams of sugar--nearly 1/8 of a teaspoon. That's the same as eating a whole Tic Tac. (which also has a tricky ingredient label listing 0 grams of sugar per piece!)

So one serving of Cheetos might have as much sugar as a Tic Tac!

These labels provided by Pure Food Kids. Visit www.purefoodkids.org to learn more

Nostalgia candy from Newsies!

I found some great old fashioned candy on sale at concession at the musical Newsies. Since the show is loosely based on a true story about newspaper boys who went on strike in 1899, the concession stand sells "nostalgia" candy--flavors that parents remember from childhood. I did a few experiments, and also learned some new facts!

Come see amazing high school singers and dancers perform Newsies at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, WA, this Friday and Saturday--and get your own nostalgia experiment candy!

Zotz arrived in the US in 1968 after being invented in Italy. The center fizzes when eaten, because a mix of baking soda and malic acid starts reacting to form bubbles in the presence of water (or saliva).

Cow Tales are produced by Goetze's Candy, which started making chewing gum in 1895. Fun fact about Cow Tales: though they look like most caramels, they contain flour, making them closer in substance to Tootsie Rolls.

Aftershock candy is based on Pop Rocks, which were invented in 1956 by a chemist hoping to trap enough bubbles inside candy to dissolve into carbonated soda. While he couldn't capture enough carbon dioxide to make soda, the trapped bubbles explode and escape nicely when added to water!

Happy Candy Thanksgiving!

The M&Ms candy shell dissolves in water, but each solution is so dense that the colored fluids push against each other instead of mixing. Meanwhile, surface tension on the edges of the pool hold the water in as the color spreads.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Halloween Chocolate Melting Experiments

Ever wonder why chocolate turns white? It's not getting moldy. In fact, the white stuff is just another form of chocolate crystals, called Chocolate Bloom.

Cocoa butter molecules stack themselves into many different forms of crystals, and some are more stable than others. (Think of the difference of strength between a single Lego tower and an interlocked Lego wall.) When you melt the chocolate, the cocoa butter cools into crystalline forms that are less stable. Cocoa butter gets pushed out of the chocolate structure and reforms into white crystals.

Chocolate bar at the end of The Great Melting Race

Chocolate Bloom

Broken chocolate: notice the fissures where the chocolate has separated

Cocoa Butter Crystals