Whether you prefer it as round peppermint candies or candy canes, the taste of sweet peppermint candies is a must for the holidays. While you are enjoying the treat with your kids, why not jump into an easy dissolving peppermint candy science experiment?
With minimal prep, you can take your kids through the scientific method and record their results in the free experiment worksheet. They can even put a piece of candy in their mouths and see if the candy will dissolve faster than the ones in water!
Dissolving Peppermint Science Experiment
- Peppermint candies or mini candy canes
- 3 containers (preferably clear so you can see the candies easily)
- Hot, warm, and cold water
- Free dissolving peppermint experiment worksheet
1. Unwrap 3 peppermint candies and place one in each container.
2. Write “Hot,” “Warm,” and “Cold” on separate pieces of paper and place them next to the corresponding containers.
3. Pour hot water in the container labeled hot, warm water in the container labeled warm, and cold water in the container labeled cold.
4. Start the timer!
5. Record the results in the free dissolving peppermint experiment worksheet after 20 minutes.
6. Optional: Continue the timer until one of the peppermint candies dissolve completely.
What happened when you pour the hot water into the cup? Our peppermint started dissolving right away, and within seconds all the colors had disappeared from the candy. The peppermint candies in the warm and cold cups started dissolving almost right away as well, but not nearly as fast.
This what the peppermint looked like after about 3 minutes. At this point all the colors had run off into the water.
And here is what the peppermint candies look like after 20 minutes! You can barely see the one in hot water, while there is still a decent amount to dissolve in the cold water.
Did your kid predict correctly which temperature water would dissolve the peppermint candies the fastest? Did you let the candies sit in the water until they completely dissolve. It took about 33 minutes for the one in hot water to disappear completely. We didn’t wait for the other two because it would probably take a long time!
Science Behind the Disappearing Peppermint Candy Experiment
As we discovered in the peppermint candy water science experiment, the peppermint candies dissolve in water because the polar water molecules pull the polar areas of the sucrose molecules apart. By why did the hot water dissolve the sugar so much faster?
Similar to what we have seen in the melting snowmen in hot cocoa experiment, the temperature of the water affects how fast the water molecules move. In boiling hot water, the molecules move super fast and therefore break down the sucrose molecules quickly. On the other hand, cold water molecules are quite slow, and takes a lot more time to dissolve the sugar.
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