Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Keeping Kids Busy

Need a way to entertain your children?  My two-year-old spent more than an hour dumping candy hearts in water, stirring the water, pouring the water into a cup--and then wiping up the sticky mess at the end!  The quarter I paid for the box of candy was money well-spent.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Experiment: Floating Hearts

Valentine's Day means it's time for the mysteriously floating conversation hearts. This year I used Brach's Conversation Hearts.



Drop them in water, and they sink.
After an about an hour, they start to rise.
After two hours, they should all be bobbing at the surface.
Remove them from water (they're a little gooey), drop them back in, and they sink back to the bottom.

I'd love to know more about why they do this.  My guess is that enough air bubbles collect on the hearts to make them float, but more research is definitely called for.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Candy Experiments on KidsHealth.org

Candy experiments went live at Kidshealth.org recently, featured as part of their Valentine's Day center.    The experiments will remain on the Kidshealth.org site permanently as part of their Game Closet (accessed from the side menu by clicking on the "Movies and Games" link.)  All the photos are being used courtesy of candyexperiments.com.

Though the experiments are based candyexperiments.com experiments, you'll find great new information associated with each.  For instance, in Acid Test you'll learn how our stomachs contain acid that helps us break down food, and Density Rainbow adds tidbits about bone density and calcium.

It's exciting to see candy experiments reach such a wide audience.  KidsHealth.org is a great site to partner with.  You'll enjoy clicking around to find nutrition information, advice on relationships, matter-of-fact treatment of sensitive subjects, and games that help kids think about nutrition and other aspects of health.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Emergency Birthday Present

We had a minor birthday party crisis recently when my daughter was invited to the birthday party of a boy she hardly knows.  All she could tell me was his reading level ("He won't like chapter books, Mommy") and that he occasionally wears an Army necklace.  What sort of present could I provide with so little information?  Then we remembered: everybody loves candy experiments.

So we made a candy experiment kit, with POP ROCKS to dissolve, WARHEADS for the Acid Test, Starbursts for the Oil Test, Skittles for floating letters, and Lifesavers for Lifesaver Lights.  Brand-new experiment cards contained the instructions for each experiment. 

May his birthday be full of acid test bubbles, popping POP ROCKS, and all kinds of candy fun!

New Experiment Cards

I put together a new set of experiment cards with eight experiments on a page.  The new cards include Lifesaver Lights, What Makes Pop Rocks Pop, WARHEADS Acid Test, Hot/Cold Dissolving Race, Sink/Float, and Find Hidden Candy.  Print them off to use in the kitchen, or pass them out as gifts or Trick-or-Treat prizes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What happens when you open a can of Tangerine Altoids, shut it again, 
and leave it in the cupboard for five years? 

Sticky puddles.


Tangerine Altoids are a type of candy known as a "sugar glass," like fruit Lifesavers or Jolly Ranchers. This type of candy is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water from the atmosphere.  The Altoids in my tin absorbed enough water over five years that some of the candy liquified and puddled at the bottom of the tin.