Inspired by this article, my 7-year old son and I began candy science experiments in our kitchen this morning. Whatever prompted me to suggest this possibility before school, when usually just getting out of the house is a challenge, must be part of the magic of this time of year. We filled four test tubes with water. At his direction we put two green Skittles in one, two green M&M’s in another, two brown Skittles in a third, and two brown M&M’s in the last. What happened next I’ll leave for you to discover, because it was fun—lots of fun. And it was fun because it surprised us.
I asked my son if he wanted to keep a scientist’s notebook. Changes were happening in those test tubes much quicker than we’d expected, so we were scrambling around his room, knowing he’d been given notebooks, and soon we found the perfect one—an end-of-school-year gift from his first-grade teacher who bases many of her lessons around science topics. Then my son, a person who rarely writes more than a few words on his own at home, sat down and recorded a half a page of notes.
Finally we’d pushed leaving as long as we could if we were to have a hope of getting to school on time. I was entrusted with the responsibility of adding more notes over the course of the day. And we were off…part running, part walking. I loved the irony that he might get his first late slip because he was absorbed in science. But fleet-footed, we arrived in his second-grade classroom with a bit of time to visit with his teacher. I caught myself blurting out a report about what we had done and interrupted myself so my son could be the one to tell her. Those candies can pump you up one way or another. I’m very pleased with their new role.
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Here’s a web site with specific candy experiment ideas by the author of the article I referenced at the beginning of my post: http://www.candyexperiments.com