Science in the Kitchen

Keeping the kids inventively occupied can be a challenge. But what if you could teach kids science while they think they are playing with their food? For example what happens when you put Lemonheads or sour Skittles in water with baking soda? Ever leave a gummy worm in a glass of water overnight? Did you know the letters stamped onto candies can come off?

About a year and a half ago at LTUE I went to one of the educator panels and ended up buying Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt. It’s great because it explains the science behind the experiments simply so that kids who can read can understand it, and adults can easily explain the concepts to young children.

Kitchen Science

Since then it has been thoroughly niece tested and approved. In fact when I’ve gone to spend the day with the girls after Christmas, Valentine’s day, and Easter I was greeted coming in with “Aunt Heidi, we got new candy! What should we do to it?” Not only did the preschool set have a ball, we also managed to snare a teenager with our kitchen counter science lab.

Some of the experiments can be messy. The day we smashed all the air out of marshmallows to make them sink when dropped into water was seriously sticky. The giggles over how much force it took were absolutely worth the clean up. The taffy boat races also ended up much gooeyer than I’d anticipated. The girls felt the need for several redesigns to the wet taffy boats to improve speed, leaving sticky hand prints all over the counter. The fact that some of the changes sank the boats was a great way to investigate physics, though.

The candy experiments also got the kids thinking about how other things react. For example lemon juice mixed with baking soda fizzes much more than orange juice. Carrots do not fizz at all but pickles do. And baking soda makes pickles taste nasty.

Pick up a copy of the book and sneak some learning fun.

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