Hands-on science experiments are one of our favourite rainy day activities. This week Marie set up an easy erosion experiment for kids that had the double bonus of using up some leftover candy we had kicking around the kitchen!
My parents are the worst for sneaking candies and lollipops into my daughter’s coat pockets whenever they take her out for lunch or we have a family get-together. By encouraging Ella to use her candy in creative ways – like candy science experiments – I avoid the drama of throwing out her candy AND the drama of a sugar-high 4 year old!
I love this easy science experiment for kids that Marie is here to share with us today and I hope you like it, too!
Holidays always bring in a little more candy than we like to our home. If your child has grandparents I’m sure you have the same dilema. So here is a fun candy erosion experiment for those extra sweet treats.
This experiment is based on the idea that moving water erodes rocks faster than water that is sitting still. The jar that we shake represents a fast moving river, where the control jar represents a pond or lake that does not have moving water.
Within in just a couple minutes kids can easily see the results of erosion! We focused on the scientific method for this experiment. We have a really great printable resource you can use to guide your experiment here.
The setup for this experiment is VERY easy. Just a couple jars, water, and your leftover candy!
How to Do an Easy Erosion Experiment
Gather Materials – this is enough for one erosion experiment
- 2 jars with tight fitting lids
- 2 small bowls
- 2 pieces of M&Ms
- 2 pieces of soft candy <– we used butter mints
- 2 pieces of hard candy
- 2 cups of cold water
I highly recommend grabbing a couple of these sturdy plastic lunch trays (we have one in the pictures in this post). I use these for almost all of our craft or kitchen activities, as well as in our Montessori practical life activities. Ours have lasted for over 6 years and are still going strong, plus they are so great for containing messes and allowing the kids to set a project to the side while it dries (or if you have to clear off the table for supper).
Does moving water erode rock faster than water that is standing still?
We have studied water before and how waves work. Building on that knowledge we tapped into many great books, educational online articles, and prior knowledge to research erosion.
Based on our research, we created a hypothesis: Rocks erode faster in moving water.
Now for the fun part! We put our hypothesis to work by creating a control and a test experiment. In pairs, students can each create a jar with water and candy.
Pour one cup of cold water into one of the jars.
Add in one piece each of M&Ms, soft candy, and hard candy. The candy represents sedimentary (soft candy), igneous (M&M), and metemorphic (hard candy) rocks.
Add the lid and be sure it is REALLY tight. You may want to give it a little check before the kids start shaking the jar.
Shake only ONE jar. The second jar is the control. Kids can take turns shaking the jar. As they do you can talk a little about how rivers have fast moving water. We shook our jars until the kids were tired, but a couple minutes should be plenty
After all the shaking is done with the test jar, pull the candy out of both jars. Notice how the candy in the control jar did not change much, but the candt in the test jar was much smaller. You can also discuss how different type rocks erode faster.
This is an easy erosion experiment you can set up in no time and use a little of that extra holiday candy!
Also check out our Water Xylophone Science Experiment and our Wave In A Bottle Science Experiment. Both are perfect to accompany this candy science experiment and explore the other properties of water.
Check out these other fun science experiments for kids:
Check out these other awesome Science Experiments for Elementary-aged kids:
- Child-led STEAM Density Investigation at Life Over C’s
- Snack Time Engineering Easy STEAM Project for Kids at Handmade Kids Art
- STEM Books for Teaching/Homeschooling Kids at The Jenny Evolution
- STEM Activities for Kids in the Kitchen at iGame Mom
- PEEPS STEAM Activities at Schooling a Monkey
- How to Make a Compass at Parenting Chaos
- STEM Challenge: Edible Sedimentary Rocks Model at Preschool Powol Packets
- Math Magic: Finding Center of a Circle at Planet Smarty Pants
- Tinker Toys STEM Pulley at Sugar Aunts
- Hot Chocolate Science at Creative Family Fun