If your children aren't as fond of science as you'd like them to be, teach them how to make rock candy and you'll help them learn that science can be exciting, fun and tasty.
What child wouldn't be excited about the prospect of learning to how to make rock candy? The ingredients and equipment needed are simple, and minimal, and you more then likely have them all in your house, ready to go, all you have to do is pull them out and get started.
Rock candy is a favorite at fairs, carnivals and the circus. Learning how to make rock candy is a perfect activity for a rainy day, or a day when they kids claim there's nothing to do! The next time boredom strikes, herd them into the kitchen for a science lesson they can eat. You can make the rock candy plain or flavored, clear or colored, depending on your child's preference and whim that day.
* Measuring cup and spoon
* Large sauce pan
* Long wooden spoon
* Clean glass jar (a tall, strong one)
* Clean piece of cotton string
* Popsicle stick, pencil, or wooden skewer
* Paper clip
* 1 cup water
* 2 cups of granulated sugar
* A few drops of your favorite candy flavoring (optional)
* A few drops of food coloring (optional)
Step 1: Tie the piece of string around the middle of the stick or pencil. The string should be a little shorter than the jar.
Step 2: Get the string damp a little water and roll it in the sugar. Put the paper clip on the end of the string. Place the stick over the top of the glass jar. The string should be hanging down inside the jar, but shouldn't be touching the bottom.
Step 3: Cook the candy mixture.
a. Boil the water.
b. Stir in the two cups of sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved.
c. Remove the pan from the heat, add flavoring and/or coliring, if using.
d. Pour hot mixture into the jar.
Step 4:Put the jar in an out of the way spot where it won't be disturbed. The crystals will start growing on the string in a couple of hours.
Let the crystals grow for 3-10 days. The longer they grow, the larger they'll be.Letting them grow longer will result in bigger crystals.
Step 5: Remove the string from the jar, and eat your candy! Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Learning how to make rock candy is a great project for an elementary school science fair. Your child can take pictures of the rock candy ingredients before you start cooking, then photograph the jar each day, and note the changes in the crystal growth. Make the final picture the child eating the candy with family or friends. If they'd like to make it a little more advanced, they can experiment with different colors and flavors, and see if the different combinations result in slower or faster crystal growth, or if it has no impact at all. Mount all the pictures on poster board, with written descriptions below each, and offer samples of the finished product if the school will permit food at the fair.
Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!