I don’t know about you, but we always end up with a TON of candy canes leading up to and after Christmas. Sometimes we have more than 100 in the house. My kids can’t possibly eat all of those, but it feels wrong to just throw them away. Luckily, you don’t have to! You can try candy cane science instead.
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Last year, we melted regular candy canes in various liquids, but this year, we wanted to try something different. We tried building candy cane structures, but we still had more candy canes left over. So this time, we tried a candy cane race!
Candy Cane Science: Melting Candy Canes Race
What you’ll need to set up the candy cane melting race:
- Mini candy canes
- Wintergreen mints
- Peppermint mints
- Mason jars
For our experiment, we wanted to time how long it took each type of candy cane to dissolve in hot water. We had wintergreen mints, peppermints, and mini candy canes left over, so that is what we used in our experiment.
We used the hottest water that came out of our sink and filled each jar with the hot water.
The kids dropped three of each type of mint into each of the jars at the same time. The kids thought that the smaller mints would dissolve first.
We set a timer for five minutes and let our candies melt. The kids were surprised to see they started to melt right away.
The mints still weren’t dissolved after 5 minutes, so we let them sit an additional 10 minutes. My preschooler was especially interested in watching the candy melt.
After 15 minutes, the kids fished out the candies with a fork.
It turns out, they all melted at about the same rate! The kids decided that since each mint had a similar make-up and construction, the ingredients melted at the same rate. Next time, the kids want to try comparing the melting speeds of different types of candies, such as a piece of chocolate versus a hard candy.
What Kids Learn with the Candy Cane Science Melting Race
During this STEM challenge, kids will have a lot of opinions about which mint will melt first. My kids thought the smaller mints would melt faster since they were smaller. But, as we found out, all of the mints melted at the same rate, leaving this race at a tie. The kids will also learn about observation, the scientific method, and how variables and constants are necessary for a successful STEM activity.
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