Rock Candy Experiment

Method

Add some creative learning to your day with this fun children’s kitchen experiment. Not only will they get to enjoy sticks of homemade rock candy, they’ll also learn a lot along the way!

The Science:

This experiment is all about crystallisation - grains of sugar are made from crystals that dissolve in hot water. When the water cools, the sugar molecules that have been pulled apart begin to separate from the water again and re-crystallise to form beautiful shapes.

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  1. Boil the water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Gradually add the sugar into the water and stir until completely dissolved. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Once cooled, dip your wooden skewers into the sugar mixture. Then, roll each skewer in the extra sugar until completely covered.
  4. Leave the skewers to dry for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour 5 drops of food colouring into each glass or champagne flute. We love making rainbow rock candy!
  5. Pour the sugar mixture from your saucepan into the glasses until ¾ full. Stir to mix in the food colouring.
  6. Place your skewers into the centre of each glass and secure the top of each stick by balancing a wooden peg on top of the glass. Make sure the skewer doesn’t touch the bottom or the sides of the glass.
  7. Set the glasses aside for 1-2 weeks and keep an eye on what happens – your rock candy will grow over time as the sugar crystals form. Make sure you don’t move the glasses too much or the crystals can drop off.
  8. When you’re ready to remove your rock candy sticks, simply crack the surface of the mixture in each glass and take out the skewers. Leave to dry before serving. 

Ingredients

Prep time: 1-2 Weeks

Cook time: N/A

Serves: 6

  • 800g sugar (plus extra for dipping)

  • 500ml water

  • Food colouring

  • Wooden skewers

  • Clothes pegs

  • Thin glasses (champagne flutes work great)