What To Do With That Halloween Candy? (Science Experiments, Donations…)
Halloween will be here really soon! If you are wondering what to do with all that Halloween candy, you can always do some science! This is an experiment I did with my kids a while back with Skittles in water. I think the results are fascinating:
Floating Letters: Another fun thing to do with Skittles or M&Ms is to see if you can make the letters float on water. Just submerge the candy in water letter side up. Don’t stir or bump the water. After a few minutes, a few of the letters should float on top of the water. This happens because they are made of edible ink, which doesn’t dissolve in water.
Growing Gummy: An easy experiment is to drop a gummy worm in water. After a couple of hours, it should grow in size as it absorbs water!
Float or Sink: You’ve probably done this household items, but why not try it with Halloween candy? Have the kids predict which items will sink and which will float. Drop them in water to test their hypothesis. Help them cut the candies in half to examine what is on the inside and talk about what they see there (and why that particular candy would float or sink).
Do you want to do other fun experiments with candy? Be sure to visit this great website, Candy Experiments written by Loralee, a mom of three. Last year, she wrote a post Candy Experiment Cards for Halloween where she offers so free candy experiment cards that you can download. Loralee has had an exhibit at the USA Science and Engineering Festival and she has also written a book called Candy Experiments (affiliate link).
Donate Your Halloween Candy: By the way, you can also donate your candy to soldiers via Operation Gratitude or Halloween Candy Buyback or check with your local dentist to see if they accept candy donations (my kids’ dentist participates in one of these programs). There is also Operation Shoebox and Operation Stars and Stripes which also accept donations. Don’t forget about your local homeless shelter or food pantry. They are often looking for donations and may accept wrapped Halloween Candy. (And since I’m on that topic I’ll mention that my friend runs the local food pantry near us and they are also often in need of diapers sizes 2 through 5.)
Build Things with Candy: One year during our study of vertebrates, we used Life Saver gummies to help explain how our back bone works. For more about that, visit this post: Vertebrate Man: Our Hands-On Exploration of the Back Bone and Nervous System.
Along those same lines, we once used candy to help explain the components of blood: We “made” our own blood. The types of cells made in bone marrow include red cells, white cells and platelets. We talked again about the basic function of these cells.
- the fluid is called plasma (corn syrup)
- red cells carry the oxygen (red jelly beans)
- white cells fight infection (white jelly beans)
- platelets help to clot and form scabs (rice)
You could also read Hansel and Gretel to the kids and have them help you build the witch’s candy house!
The Candy Fairy: When my kids were very small, the kids could leave the majority of their candy for the candy fairy. She’d visit in the middle of the night and replace all that candy with one small toy or stuffed animal. The kids loved that!
The Halloween Store: I know a family who set up a store with pencils, notebooks and other small things. Their kids could “buy” things from their Halloween store. Big ticket items cost more pieces of candy than smaller items. I thought that was a cute idea and their kids were really into it!
You Might Also Be Interested in our Science Experiment Pack: A couple of years ago I made a packet of some of our most beloved science experiments. If you’re keen to do science experiments with your kids, here are some of the things that my kids and I have enjoyed a lot:
Download your free Science Experiment Packet here.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.