Spring Play, STEM/Science Activities

Rainbow Skittles Experiment: 2 Ways!

With Spring and St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, tis the season for all things rainbow! Here is a fun experiment (or rather 2 experiments) using these colorful candies that is sure to wow your little ones. The best part…it only takes two ingredients!

Before starting the “experiment” part of this activity, squeeze in a little extra learning by having your little ones help sort the colors of the skittles. Using our rainbow painting from last week as a reference, I asked Mr. 3.5 if we had all the colors, and after a little investigation he noted there were no blue skittles! See if your little learners can solve the mystery as well!

Experiment #1

Step 1: Using clear containers such as glass cups, baby food jars, or whatever you have on hand, add a few skittles of each color to a glass. I asked Mr 3.5 what his predictions were and, in his words, “The colors are going to change, and the skittles are going to lose their clothes and their colors will be all gone.”

Step 2: Add hot water to each glass. I used a kettle and boiling water, but if you wanted to let your kids do the pouring, hot tap water will work too, it just wont be as instantaneous!

As predicted, the water did change colors and the skittles “lost their clothes” and turned all white!

This experiment is not only visually appealing, but is great for engaging other senses as well! My little guy noticed that they smelled “really yummy”, and of course a taste test was in order too (after adding some cold water to cool it down!

Mr. 3.5 was really excited to mix the colors, but honestly, without blue skittles, it is tough to get really deep into color mixing! We did, however, pour the red water into yellow to make orange, and then of course after dumping them all together discovered he could make brown!

Experiment #2

This is one even I find fascinating every time! All you need is a dish with a lip/rim, skittles, and hot water. For this one I do recommend sticking with boiling hot water as the magic really is in the colors spreading instantly into a rainbow!

Step 1: Arrange the skittles around the outside rim of your dish. We didn’t have a lot of skittles left for this one, so I used a clear lid I found in the recycling bin to make our working area the right size…you want the water to stay in the middle of the circle as much as possible. This is a great chance for your little ones to practice patterning as well!

Step 2: Pour hot water into the center of the dish, ensuring little hands are a safe distance away to avoid injury from the heat. Then watch the magic happen! My little guy thought it was funny that they still had their colors on the top and said they still had their hats on!

Which one would you try first? I hope these ideas inspire you to have a little rainbow fun at home!

Be Inspired to Play Always,

Hannah

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