Candy Math and Science Activities

In hoping to keep our schoolwork fun today,  I gave each boy their bag of Halloween candy and told them to find their own spot on the rug.

We then dumped the bags out and I told them to sort all the candy.  I gave them some ideas and told them they could sort by chocolate, not chocolate, chewy, crunchy, or sort by color, whatever.  I didn't really care how they sorted as long as they sorted.

For the older boys, once they had it sorted I asked if they could sort it another way.  Once they'd sorted a few time I gave them grid paper and told them to make a graph showing their sort.

Drawing the grid 
We then talked about the results of our graphs and names for our graphs explaining what they were about.

Then we settled in for some candy science!

They protested a bit at first as I started rifling through their candy bags looking for candy to use for our science experiments, especially when they asked if they could eat them later and I said no, not really.

But I patiently explained that no matter what I'd NEVER, EVER let them eat all the candy they had collected.

They finally agreed rather reluctantly to let me use some of the candy for science today.

We tried all that we could with the candy we had.

We did a sink/ float experiment and realized that out of all the candy we tried only Kit- Kat and 3 Musketeers floated; Star burst, Nerds, Hershey Kisses, Sweet tarts, Skittles, Snickers, Dove bar and Gobstoppers all sunk.

Will it sink or Float?
Next we tried dissolving some skittles.

I had read an article that said the S was made out of an edible ink that stuck together and lifted off the skittles in one piece.  That didn't happen for us but we did notice that as they dissolved the colors did not mix.  They made perfectly strait lines where the colors met.  The boys thought that was pretty neat!
Dissolving Skittles in water
We did a citric acid test too.

Using a small bowl or glass of water we added 1 tsp. of baking soda and then drop in candies one at a time.  If they fizz or bubble they're acidic.

I was so glad the boys knew this before we even started. They told me it was like adding lemon juice or vinegar to the baking soda.

Not surprisingly the sour Skittles worked the best.  They fizzed so much we could barely see them.  We also found Sweet Tarts fizz a bit but Star burst, gobstoppers, chocolate, and nerds didn't do anything.

fizzing sour Skittles
I demonstrated plate tectonics and fault lines using Snickers bars (that's found here).

We melted Star burst candies and discovered that they are actually pretty oily.

Melted Starburst
Then for our last experiment we predicted whether candy would dissolve faster in hot or cold water.  

They readily agreed that if it was chocolate it would melt fast in hot water but they weren't 100% certain that sugar candy would work the same way.  We took hot tap water and ice water and placed a gobstopper in each one.  It was soon apparent that hot water dissolves candy faster.  

Gobstoppers in ice and hot water
I had many more experiment ideas but figured that was enough for one day.  


  1. Fun ideas! If we don't eat it all, I'll see if my kids are up for some candy science.

    1. My boys get such a crazy amount of candy that we could in no way eat it all... especially not by the time Christmas rolls around when they'll just even more!


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