I imagine there are several of you who can relate to the question I get asked several times each and every day, “Can I have a piece of candy?” I get so tired of hearing that question. We have a rule of no more than one piece per day but even then, they ask and ask until they get that one piece. Since we have the day off today from work and because it’s a rainy and cold day, I decided to play on their love of candy for some fun learning and in an effort to control the amount of candy we constantly have hanging around here. So I announced this morning that I had a surprise planned for lessons today. Chores were done quicker than normal and by 8:45 we were getting started! I love days like this. Honestly though, this was possibly the most fun I have had thus far in our homeschooling experience! The best part of it was that the kids did pretty much everything while I listened and observed.
They started out sorting all of the candy by type.
Next, I gave each of them an empty egg carton and told them to pick their favorite candies and put one in each spot. While they were picking and choosing I explained to them that from now on they will be allowed to have one piece of the candy they choose from the egg carton each day, after lunch. I told them that if they ask for a piece of candy when it is not after lunch they will not get that day’s piece. It they ask after they have already had one they will not have one the next day. Bottom line: No more asking for candy.
After all of the rules were laid out for that we moved onto the next project. We filled a gallon-sized ice cream bucket with smaller candies that will fit into plastic Easter eggs. We marked that and will store it with the plastic eggs until we need to fill them in the spring.
Next, I explained that we were going to experiment with some of the candy since we had so much and see what happens to different candies when they are put into things like water, oil, vinegar, etc. Then we chose a bowl full of candies to experiment with and set it aside while the kids unwrapped all of the chocolate bars, broke them up and put them into a bowl.
While they unwrapped chocolate, I made a pie crust. Stay with me…..
After chocolates were unwrapped they moved onto unwrapping the “experiment candy” while I filled glasses with the following:
baking soda & water
baking soda & vinegar
hot water & vanilla
oil & vinegar
Then, the fun really began. I had the table covered with white paper so I labeled each glass before the kids got going. I let them take it from there. They put different candies into the glasses and ooohed and awwed over what they discovered.
Here are some of the things I overheard being exclaimed(really loudly and excitedly):
“Look at the colors changing!”
“Wow, smell this, it stings the nostrils!”
“The Smarties are dissolving!”
“This one bubbles but that one doesn’t!”
“This is like the layers of the ocean I just read about; sunlit, twilight and midnight!”
“The taffy floats in hot water and the hot water with baking soda but not in anything else!”
“Let’s see what happens when we stir it up!”
“Whatever this was, it totally dissolved!”
“Whoa, I can hear it fizzing!”
“This smells different now and really weird!”
“It sounds like the beginning of a volcano when it fist starts bubbling over!”
“I think it’s dissolving because it’s basically made of melted sugar!”
“That was the best day of lessons EVER!”
When we finally wrapped things up we realized that it was already 11:00 and we had been at this for over 2 hours! The kids are already making plans to do it again. I am thrilled with the amount of candy that was purged for the sake of science and the obvious amount of hands-on learning that took place using all of their senses. What a fun way to learn!
Oh yeah, and all that chocolate that the kids unwrapped…..we baked it up into a ridiculously rich chocolate pie!!