When I asked moms which subject area would be the hardest one to integrate into their Christmas homeschool, the answer is often Science. So, let’s look at fun candy cane experiments you can use this December.
Let’s face it, your kids are already thinking about Christmas and probably struggling to focus on their academics. If they’re thinking about Christmas, use the holidays to teach your subject areas. That’s one of my tips to encourage a love of learning … tie your subject area into your child’s interest.
These crystal candy cane experiments are simple enough for preschoolers to make, but the Science is challenging enough for elementary and middle schoolers.
Let’s get started . . .
Crystal Candy Cane Experiments
Once you finish this Christmas Science experiment, you can hang these candy canes as ornaments on your tree.
You’ll need the following:
- Pipe cleaners
- Borax – Found in laundry aisle or here
- Jar or glass
- String or yarn
- Boiling water
- Pencil or straw
Before starting the experiment, explain what you will do. Allow your kids to make predictions about what will happen if the pipe cleaner candy canes are in the Borax solution overnight.While the kids are creating their pipe cleaner candy cane, set the water to boil.
Let the kids twist the pipe cleaner to look like the twist of a candy cane. Then, shape with a hook at one end.
Tie a loop of string or yarn around the candy cane hook.
Slide the loop into your pencil or rod. We used a paint brush because that’s what we had.
Parental supervision: Add 1/3 cup Borax to your cup or jar. Pour boiling water in jar.
Kids can stir to dissolve the Borax.
Kids put the candy cane in the water and let pencil rest on lid.
Leave alone overnight.
Remove your candy cane and discover the crystals.
Slip the loop off the pencil. Cut the loop off. Hang the candy cane on your Christmas tree.
Why does this happen? Ask your kids why they think the candy cane now has crystals.
The Borax starts to settle overnight, but some of the Borax is suspended in the solution. The Borax attaches itself to some of the water molecules. When the water is hot, the molecules with Borax are far apart. As the water cools, the molecules are closer together. The cooled Borax-water molecules then attach themselves to the pipe cleaner, looking like crystals.
Melting Candy Canes
Another one of our candy cane experiments, allows students to see their candy cane melt over time. You’ll need:
- Mini candy canes
- Warm water
- Small bowls
Explain to your children we will pour different temperatures of water over each candy cane. Allow them to predict what will happen to each candy cane, based on the water temperature. Cold. Warm. Hot.
- Children put one candy cane in each bowl.
- Label what temperature of water you will pour over each candy cane by placing a Post-It next to each bowl.
- Create your different water temperatures by adding ice to 1 cup of water. Allow 1 cup water to be room temperature. Heat 1 cup water in the microwave for 1 minute.
- Depending on the age of your kids, they may pour different temperature of water in each bowl.
- Write down any immediate observations. Sight. Smell. Taste of water.
- Watch for a minute. Write down observations.
- Check your candy canes every 5 minutes for a half-hour. Write down your observations each time.
Ask your children why the candy canes melted at different rates.
Similar to the crystal candy cane experiment, the hot water’s molecules are moving more rapidly. With rapid movement, the hot water melts the candy cane much more quickly.
Would you like our Candy Cane Experiments Printables? You’ll receive printables for your children to make predictions, record observations, as well as directions and supply lists for each of our Candy Cane Experiments.
Normally, this ebook is $5, but you can have it free for a limited time. Leave your name & email below and we’ll send
Before I close . . . 2020 has been quite a year. It’s definitely been one for the books and one we’ll likely never forget. We have made it to the holiday season – a time for gratitude, togetherness, and celebration.
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