Saturday, December 22, 2012

Candy Cane Craft: Do a Pepermint Stick Experiment!

I recently got a very awesome book in the mail to review: Candy Experiments, by Loralee Levitt. In a word the book is awesome. My kids and I spent an afternoon doing just about every experiment in the book, and they were totally and completely engrossed.

And the side-effect of the experiments that I liked the most was that they used candy. Candy for science instead of for eating.

How perfect is this book so kids will use up at least some of their Halloween candy doing experiments?

One of the easiest and most fun experiments we did was fill a bowl with water and then see what candy floated, and which sunk. You'd be surprised by the results, and I was surprised by how much candy this particular experiment was able to use up as the kids kept asking to try "just one more!" Of course, kids. Of course.

If you want to try your own candy experiments, here's a fun one from the book that uses Candy Canes, Crazy Canes:

Time: 10 to 30 minutes
Skill Level: Get a grown-up

Snap! That’s what happens to your candy cane if you try to bend it. Is there a way to bend candy canes without breaking them?

What you need:
Oven
Aluminum foil
Baking sheet
Candy cane or straight candy stick

What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
 
2.  Tear off a square of aluminum foil. Fold it in half, then fold again and again to make a rectangular strip about 3 inches wide (wider than the candy cane). Bend this strip into a fun shape, like a zigzag, an S-curve, or a bowl.
 
 
3. Place the foil shape on the baking sheet and put the candy cane on the foil shape. Heat in the oven for 5 to 20 minutes. (The melting time will depend on the size of the candy cane.) Check frequently until the candy cane has softened and curved into the shape of the mold.
 
What's happening:
When you’re melting an ice cube, you can see it turn to water. An ice cube is a solid, made from molecules locked together as crystals. When it melts, the molecules break apart. The solid becomes a liquid.
 
The molecules in a candy cane don’t make crystals. Instead, the candy cane contains lots of kinds of molecules jumbled together, like the fruit Life Saver in the Life Savers Melting Race experiment on page 96. When it gets warm, it doesn’t turn liquid right away. Instead, it gets softer and softer as the molecules shift around. That’s why you can turn a warm candy cane into a crazy cane.
 
In fact, your candy cane has already been heated and bent. A candy cane is made from a straight candy stick that’s bent into a cane shape while it’s still warm.



To purchase the book visit CandyExperiments.com.

I was not compensated for this post. I did receive a copy of Candy Experiments - and I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Jessica Watson said...

Oh how cool, I wonder if I can get creative and try to make it shape into the kids initials (this is the part where my crafts go all wrong and become a craft fail).

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