Those little pink boxes of candy hearts are once again adorning store shelves everywhere. I’m going to admit it, I really don’t like them. But the kids do. And every year we buy a few boxes, having fun with some simple candy heart activities, like this candy heart science experiment, before they gobble them all up.
(Related Post: Dissolving Candy Experiment)
Candy Heart Science Experiment
To conduct your Valentine’s Day science experiment you will need several clear glasses or small jars. You can use plastic, too, if they are clear and easy to see through.
You will also need plenty of candy hearts (conversation hearts). If your kids are anything like mine you will need at least one full box because they seem to disappear, leaving no evidence of where they went except for a couple giggling kids.
Now comes the fun part. Give each child one candy heart and ask them to put it in their mouths for a minute or two, without chewing it. What happens to it?
Your child will probably notice that the words disappear from the candy, and it gets smaller. They may have other observations to make, too.
Ask your child what they think will happen to a candy heart when put in a glass of water. (Over time it will dissolve.)
What affect would hot water have? Would it dissolve faster?
For younger children this may be enough to experiment with. Place one candy heart in each of two cups. Fill one cup part way with room temperature water and one with hot water and observes what happens. (It will take a few minutes, which is perfect for snuggling up with a favorite book.)
Older children may want to test the affects of other liquids on the candy.
My kids opted to try vinegar (they love using vinegar in experiments) and some apple cider we had. Your child might want to try soda pop or a fruit juice.
Label the glasses with each liquid and be sure to put the candy hearts in at the same time so you can see which one dissolves first. Want to take it further? Use a timer and record how long it takes for each candy heart to dissolve.
Encourage your child to jot down observations during the candy experiment.
One thing we noticed was that the clear liquids turned the color of the candy heart. Also, when we sniffed the containers the two with water smelled like the candy — the yellow especially did, smelling a bit lemony.
We were surprised to find the hot water dissolved the candy much faster than the vinegar. And even more surprised that the apple cider took the longest. (Which may be because it was cold. We have a whole new hypothesis to test.)
Even though I am not a big fan of the tiny candy hearts, we always have fun with them each February. This simple candy heart science experiment is one of our favorite candy heart activities so far.
You may also like:
- Cherry Explosion: Fizzy Valentines Science
- Candy Learning Activities
- Melt the Frozen Heart Valentines Science
- Melting Snowman Winter STEM