Candy with Kids

We had a bunch of kids over this afternoon for candy experiments. Little kids like the science when you show it to them, but they do just fine without the explanations. They loved squashing Peeps marshmallows, making Peeps sandwiches, and pouring hot water over stacks of Peeps, candy cane, and licorice. We ended up with a lot of "Candy Soup."

The kids' favorite discovery: Peeps get slimy when you dissolve the sugar off.

Valentine Sweethearts

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When I heard on NPR that Necco had changed their recipe for Valentine hearts, I had to rush out and buy a variety of Necco Sweethearts and Brach's Conversation Hearts to compare. We did a lot of experiments yesterday.

Here's one thing all the hearts had in common (except the sugar-free ones). Drop them in water, and they sink. But after a while, they bob to the surface again.

Unrolling Valentine Lollipops

Did you know lollipop sticks unroll when they're wet?
This is how we enjoyed our valentine lollipops.

Valentine Hearts

In honor of Valentine's Day, we dissolved some cinnamon hearts to see what would happen.

In this picture, I tilted the bowl of water. The denser sugar water sank to the bottom, exposing the hearts at the top of the bowl.

These translucent gems are really half-dissolved cinnamon hearts.

A Perfect Ending to a Perfect Project

One great way to get rid of leftover candy is to decorate gingerbread houses with it--especially when you dismantle it a month later for candy experiments. This is how my daughter (unprompted) decided to spend her Sunday afternoon:

We had a great time watching pools of color spread from dissolving jawbreakers, and testing whether gummi bears actually dissolve. (The verdict: a little.)