Homeschooling with Candy, Candy, Candy

 My boys only trick- or- treat for one hour.  They like the experience of going door to door asking for candy in the traditional trick- or- treating manner but we have a lot of family that we visit too so we usually cut our trick- or- treating short and start visiting relatives' houses.

The relatives are great and often hand out a variety of snack so my boys get things like granola bars, fruit roll ups, chips, apples, raisins, small toys, and yet we still end up with a ton of candy.

More candy than I would ever let them eat!  So we turned to homeschooling with our Halloween candy.

Before I even got out of bed this morning I knew we'd be doing all sorts of fun candy math and candy science.

They willingly sacrifice candies for us to experiment on and they have a say on which candies we use and which tests we run.

It's so much fun!

This is just Alec's pile!

I found a three page Halloween candy math unit at Ben and Me and we used it to guide our math unit today.

I had to change a few of the brands listed on the graph to represent some of the candies I knew my boys had gotten but other than that we just filled in the three page print out (and had a few snacks along the way).

We got some great practice in for the older boys with adding, subtracting, and reducing fractions.  Ian was getting confused so I pulled out our fraction tiles for him to refer to.

Then Evan wanted them so he could play with the tiles for a bit.

Ian using the tiles to help him reduce fractions

Sorting candies

Evan sorts his candies
We got to work on some candy science.  

I told the boys to pick some candy and run some experiments on them.  I told them they

  • could try to dissolve them in various substances
  • could try melting or heating them in the microwave
  • could run tests to see if they were acidic by adding a bit of baking soda to some water along with the candies in question.  
But I didn't give them a whole lot of direction or instruction.  I wanted to see what they would do.

They were so involved that my entire kitchen table was soon filled with plastic cups!

They dissolved Jolly Rancher lollipops vs. Dum Dum pops and found that even though Jolly Ranchers are larger they dissolve faster.  We also noticed that all the coloring settles to the bottom of the cups.

We noticed the "m' floating in various cups of liquid as Alec was trying different concoctions to dissolve M&M's in.

We learned that Tootsie rolls are not acidic but Sour Patch Kids are.

Ian and Evan tried microwaving a Dum Dum, a Tootsie roll and a Snickers Bar.  They told me that the Tootsie roll felt like warm, soft wax kind of like from the renaissance faire.  They noticed that the outside of the snickers bar stayed mostly intact while the gooey stuffing foamed and leaked out; nothing happened to the peanuts inside.

They left everything set up on the table for a while and checked on it every now and then throughout the day.   It was fantastic!

It's a crazy science laboratory

Tootsie rolls vs. Sour Patch Kids acidity test

Melting snickers, Tootsie rolls and Dum Dum lollipops

Checking on their experiments

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  1. A full day! I ordered the stamps lol. I enjoy your posts!

  2. Awesome! Thanks and enjoy your kit when it comes in.

  3. We have WAY too much candy and this is a brilliant idea!!!

    1. Thanks! I am always looking for ways to use our candy; I do tend to freeze anything with chocolate for future baking but science experiments are a fun way to get the boys involved and they always enjoy it so much.


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