Peppermint Candy Water Science Experiment

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It’s hard to think of the holidays without thinking of peppermint candies. The minty, refreshing taste just brings good memories of Christmas. Of course, we have to use the red and white candies as part of our holiday and winter STEM activities for kids!

Peppermint Candy Water Science (1)

We used peppermint candies for this science activity, but feel free to use candy canes. This peppermint water experiment is so easy to set up and produces amazing results!

Peppermint Candy Water Science Experiment

Materials:

  • Peppermint candies or candy canes
  • Plate
  • Warm water

Instructions:

1. Unwrap the peppermint candies and place them on a plate. Arrange them however you like!

Peppermint Candy Water Science

2. Carefully pour warm water on the plate, just enough to cover the bottom of the candies.

3. Be patient and wait for the colors to run away from the candies!

We got the idea for this holiday activity from the magic Skittles experiment. My kids were excited to see whether or not the peppermint candies would behave similarly to the Skittles. The big question was, would the white and red colors mix right away, or would they stay separate when the candies start to dissolve in the water?

To their delight, the colors did not mix. You can see the red strips coming off the peppermint candies and swirled in the water. 

Peppermint Candy Water Science (2)

Since we are dealing with peppermint candies, the activity smelled great the entire time. We also let the peppermint candies sit in the water for a while after to see what would happen. After about an hour, the bottom half of the peppermint candies dissolved significantly, leaving the candies looking like red and white mushrooms. My kids found that hilarious.

The Science Behind the Peppermint Candy Water Experiment

Dissolving sugar in water is a physical change, meaning that the change is reversible. If you leave the plate of peppermint candy sugar water out long enough, all the water would evaporate and you are left with sugar.

When sugar dissolves in water, the polar water molecules are actually pulling away the oppositely charged polar areas of the sucrose molecules. The water breaks the sugar molecules apart, causing it to dissolve.

Similar to the Skittles rainbow experiment, the colors initially do not mix because they contain different chemical properties. You can read more about it here.


FOR MORE HOLIDAY STEM ACTIVITIES, CHECK OUT:

Winter STEM Activities for Kids Pin
Building Peppermint Candy Towers Pin
Letter to Santa Coloring Page Pin

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