Skittles Experiment

Exploring Colors: Floating S Experiment

This is a really cool experiment I saw at a workshop I attended.

Materials Needed:

Disposable bowls
Small cups
Skittles candy
Pitcher of water
Printable recording sheet and crayons or markers

Set Up:

In advance, gather all materials. Place at least 3 Skittles in each child’s cup. I gave each child about 6, so they could eat a few, but they will need 3 for the experiment. Find a stable surface for the experiment (the floor, a table that does not shake). Print and copy the Recording Sheets for each child.

Skittles Science Experiment Printable

Recording Sheet

Floating S Recording Sheet

Procedure:

I gave the children a bowl, a small cup of water, and a small cup of Skittles candy. The children were instructed to pour the water into the bowl (you only need enough water so that it will cover the Skittles.) Then they choose three different colors of Skittles to place in the bowl at the edges and spaced out so they weren’t touching each other (I let them eat the rest). The children observed what happened to the colors (the colors will spread out and eventually blend with other colors and the three S’s float to the top). I recorded their verbal observations on paper and the children recorded their observations by drawing what they saw in the bowl (see example below). An important note: this experiment only works well if the bowl sits on a very stable surface, such as a table that does not shake or the floor. Make sure the children understand not to touch or move the bowl. Be sure to place the Skittles with the S side up.

Comments

  1. Audrey says

    What a great idea! We are doing a Summer Camp unit of “Colors All Around” and this will be a perfect addition to the science center. Thank you for the visual. It really helped to see exactly what the end result should be. Thanks again for the wonderful idea. P.S. LOVE your site.

  2. Deborah K Welcher says

    Hello,
    Thanks for the skittle observation lesson. thi s is simple but extremly complex. Thanks a million. We are using it in class At Wee Patriots Academy on the camous of Westside HIgh School in Augusta, Georgia.
    Deborah K. WElcher

  3. says

    I tried tis last year and it didn’t work. After reading your post, I realize we did it on the table and my friends were probably wiggling the table about! I’ll try a more stable landing spot this year!

    P.S. I’m from Augusta, Ga, too!

  4. kristan schrader says

    I tried this at school the other day and every child had success!! I did do it on the floor which I think helped!! The kids ALL loved it and it was nice to actually have something work the way it was supposed to!!!

  5. melissa says

    I use some of these ideas for my MD Unit in high school. It is great hands-on stuff usable for Any ability level!

  6. Josie says

    About how long does this activity take? I am wanting to use this experiment for my Sunday School class, but only have a certain amount of time to do it in. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Josie, I’m not sure. I believe I had a 30 minute block of time, but sometimes things take a little longer. Time can also depend on the interests of the children. I’d say about 30 minutes. If you need to do it more quickly, you might want to do one that all the children can see.

  7. marion evans says

    Just did this with my pre-k class, they loved it and was asking all kind of great questions . Thanks for the great experiment!

  8. Jime says

    Hello,

    I wanted to ask you, several have asked me why the colors dont mix, do you some clear explanation I could give?
    Please, it is for the Science Fair this friday,

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi! The colors actually will mix if the bowl is stirred or shaken. That’s why I recommend using it on a table that is pretty solid, with no shake to it. I don’t think there’s any fantastic scientific reason preventing the colors from mixing — it’s simply that the water hasn’t moved at all.

  9. Midge Diener says

    I’ll be using this in my children’s church. I love to have a visual object lesson.

    Midge,
    Delaware

  10. Lindsay says

    Thanks for this!!! i am doing this for a science experiment and you are the only person who did this!!!! i have to have a source that already did this and i looked for 3 days trying to find a source! Thanks for being my source!!

  11. Tara says

    I LOVE this idea!!! My kindergartener is Scienctist for the day and he is going to do it with his class.

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. ahcali says

    Hi, my 4 year old was “scientist of the week” at her preschool today. She did this activity and it was HUGE hit. I got a personal email from her teacher telling me how great the activity was and that she is adding it to her list of things to do with future students. I gave her this link as well. Thanks so much for the fabulous idea!

  13. Colleen Edwards says

    Thank you so much Karen for allowing me to use your site. I am aspiring to be an Early childhood teacher and you site has so many things I can use for class. Thanks again.
    Colleen

  14. Lakshmi says

    Dear Karen

    I tried the experiment using skittles and it was a big hit with my four years old. They were fascinated and excited watching the colours mix and blend and finally waiting to see the letter S floating up. Thank you, you have a great website, very useful.

  15. Marsha Reynolds says

    This sounded so cool that I had to try it NOW. Since I did not have skittles I used M&M’s. Within 2 minutes I had cool colors and floating M’s! I will have to try this with my Pre-school class. They will love it.

  16. Dalia says

    Love your site, I live in Israel and was wondering if m+m’s will work? Don’t think we have skittles here.

  17. Sheryl says

    Thanks for the worksheet! My class will be doing this as part of “Rainbow Week.” They love experiments!!

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