Christmas Skittles Science Activity for Holiday STEM

Science, Christmas, and candy all in one perfectly simple activity to try with the kiddos this season. Our Christmas Skittles science activity is a fun twist on the classic experiment. You will love how easy it is to set up and try with kids of all ages this holiday. Quick results make it super fun for kids to observe and try over and over again. Simple science and STEM makes holiday learning and lesson planning easy.

CHRISTMAS SKITTLES SCIENCE ACTIVITY FOR KIDS

CANDY SCIENCE FOR CHRISTMAS 

Do you remember our Skittles Science Activity?  I thought it would be fun to give the kids a Holiday themed science activity so we changed up the original a bit and they really enjoyed the Christmas colors and patterns.

Our Christmas skittles science activity is an awesome example of water density, and kids love this fascinating candy science! The candy science experiment uses a classic candy, Skittles! You could also try M&M’s compare the results! Check out our floating M’s here too.

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EASY CHRISTMAS SCIENCE ACTIVITY!

We have a whole season of fun Christmas theme science activities to try. Repeating experiments in different ways really helps to solidify understanding of the concepts being presented. Holidays and seasons present numerous occasions for you to re-invent some of these classic activities like this simple Skittles activity.

Check out our classic skittles video to watch the action before trying yours!

The perfect, simple to set up science for any occasion or holiday.

WHAT IS PHYSICS?

Let’s keep it basic for our younger scientists. Physics is all about energy and matter and the relationship they share with one another. Like all sciences, physics is all about solving problems and figuring out why things do what they do. Keep in mind that physics will involve chemistry too!

Kids are great for questioning everything anyway.

SKITTLES SCIENCE IS PHYSICS

Read more about the specific science surrounding Skittles at the bottom of this page

These physics activities will explore activities that demonstrate or experiment with static electricity, Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion, simple machines, buoyancy, density, and much more! We do this by using hands-on activities that use easy and inexpensive supplies you might commonly have available.

You want to continually encourage your kids to make predictions, discuss observations, and re-test their ideas if they don’t get the desired results the first time. Science always includes an element of mystery that kids naturally love to figure out!

CHRISTMAS SKITTLES SUPPLIES

You will want to set this up someplace where it won’t be bumped into but where you can easily watch the process unfold! Kids will have so much fun creating their own arrangements and patterns with the skittles. You should definitely have multiple plates handy!

Holiday theme candy is always available. You can turn Christmas Peeps into slime or explore dissolving candy canes.

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT: All the best EASY Christmas Science you need right here.

Red and Green Skittles Candy

Water

White Plates

Christmas Cookie Cutters

Christmas skittles science activity supplies

SKITTLES SCIENCE SET UP

Check out the photo process in the following pictures and then find the written steps for this simple Christmas Skittles science activity below. A cookie cutter isn’t necessary but adds a festive touch.

EASY SKITTLES SCIENCE VARIATIONS

You can also try arranging the Skittles into a Christmas theme shape like a candy cane or tree! It’s a great hands-on activity for kids of multiple ages to enjoy (especially if there’s a bit of tasting involved).  Remember you can try this with M&M’s too and compare or contrast the results.

Arranging a skittles pattern on a plate to learn about water stratification

MAKE IT A SKITTLES EXPERIMENT

You can easily turn this into an experiment by changing some variables. Remember to only change one thing at a time.

  • You can experiment with both warm and cold water or other liquids like vinegar and oil. Encourage the kids to make predictions and really observe the differences!
  • Or  you can experiment with different types of candies!

pouring water onto skittles for the Christmas skittles science activity

water starting to become green and red from skittles science activity

Keep your eyes peeled for the results!

skittles Christmas science activity almost fully dissolved on plate

SKITTLES CHRISTMAS SCIENCE STEPS

  • Set out a bowl of red and green skittles or you can let the kids sort them out themselves (save the rest of the colors for another time!
  • Let your child have fun arranging them in a pattern around the plate alternating colors in any number they like- singles, doubles, triples, etc…
  • Pop in a Christmas shaped cookie cutter to the center of the plate just to add a little more of the theme and some additional color.
  • Before pouring in the water ask your child to form a hypothesis- What will happen to the candy when it is wet?  This is a great time to work in a little deeper learning, you can find information to teach your child about the scientific method here.
  • Carefully pour water into center of cookie cutter until it just covers the candy. Be careful not to shake or  move the plate once you add the water or it will mess up the effect.

Watch as the colors stretch and bleed out away from the Skittles, coloring the water. What happened? Did they mix?  What if you used clear soda instead would that change the outcome?

Note: After a while the colors do begin to bleed together.

SKITTLE SCIENCE INFORMATION

Skittles Science demonstrates a process called stratification. The simple definition is that stratification is the arrangement of something into groups.  Specifically this is water stratification, and water has different masses with different properties that creates the barriers you see within the different colors of candies.

WATER STRATIFICATION

While we were looking up information about stratification online some sources said that each color of Skittles have the same amount of food coloring that is being dissolved off the shell and so as it spreads it doesn’t mix when they meet. You can read about this concentration gradient here.

This experiment is quick and gives kids that instant gratification they so crave! Being curious, trying different theories, investigating, and exploring are all important when it comes to science. Not every science experiment needs to be deep and probing!

While this Christmas theme skittles science is a simple activity for the kids, they are usually in awe of it (especially the first time they see it).  Hands on, easy to grasp, and pretty to look at it is really a great activity/experiment to include in your holiday lessons.

 

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