If you’re anything like us, you still have lots of candy sitting around your house from Halloween. This is a perfect way to use up some of the extra Skittles and M&Ms your kids collected.

My kids had so much fun with this experiment that they wanted to do it again, and again, and again. Which was fine by me because it’s a simple, quick, low mess experiment that uses up a bunch of Halloween candy…without the kids eating all of it. That’s a winning activity in my book!

MATERIALS:

  • Skittles or M&Ms (both worked equally well for us)
  • Plate
  • Water

PROCEDURE:

  1. Arrange the candy in a circle just inside the rim of the plate. For preschool aged kids and above: arrange the colors in the a color wheel pattern, AB, AABB, or other planned pattern. (Our Skittles arranged in a color wheel pattern is pictured below)

2. Ask your child to count how many candies they used to make the circle. (Our M&Ms arranged in a rainbow AABBCC… pattern is pictured below)

3. Very slowly pour water into the middle of the plate until it just touches the candies.

4. Watch and be amazed as the colors from the candies slowly move into the center of the circle (this step happens very quickly, which is great for kids with low patience).

The Skittles experiment (it took just over 2 minutes from photo 1 to photo 3 below):

The M&Ms experiment (it took less than 2 minutes from photo 1 to photo 3 below):

STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:

  • Science: Kids get to witness the colors spreading by diffusion. The artificial dyes used in these candies are water soluble. In the water they begin to diffuse (spread from area of highest concentration to the area of the lowest concentration). For further experimenting, they can test if water temperature (cold vs. hot) affects how quickly the colors diffuse.
  • Math: Encourage your kids to practice simple math patterns (AB, AABB, etc.), and counting while arranging the candies.
  • Art: Practice the color wheel with your kids by asking them to arrange the candies in color wheel order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). You can take the time to discuss primary and secondary colors with them for extra learning opportunities.
These are the smiles of kids who had fun doing a STEAM activity while eating their Halloween candy 😉

Have you ever tried this activity with your kids? I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it is so easy and a great way to use up some of that excessive amount of Halloween candy your kids collected. And you’ll get bonus points for the day because this is sure to amaze your kids! I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes.

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