We have been talking about density and how some things float and other things sink in water. This fun Skittle Density Experiment was a great way to show the boys how different the density of objects can be.
What is density?
Density can be described as how much of a mass substance has in a given space. In this experiment, it is all about the amount of sugar in the different coloured skittles. The more sugar, the greater the density. The denser the substance, the more likely it will sink.
What you need:
- 3 yellow skittles
- 6 green skittles
- 9 orange skittles
- 12 red skittles
- 15 purple skittles
- 5 cups
- hot / boiling water
- one glass cup
- plastic pipette or spoon
What to do:
Place the skittles into cups – one colour per cup.
Add 3 TBSP of boiling water into each cup and wait for the skittles to dissolve completely. The boiling water helps the skittles dissolve, using cold water will not work.
Once the water was cooled down to room temperature, we used the pipette ( you could poor the liquid over the back of a spoon), slowly adding the coloured water to the glass, starting with the purple. Then add the red, then orange, then green and finally yellow.
What you will see is the water that contains the most dissolved candies is on the bottom. The less dense the water (or the water with fewer skittles) will float on top of the layers that are more dense (water with more dissolved skittles).
Other activities you could try with this:
- What happens when you shake or mix up the finished product?
- Try different solids to dissolve in water, like baking soda, flour, sugar oil or cornflour. What happens this time?
- Use different amounts of the skittles, what effect does this have?
More density experiments:
- Oil and water experiment from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
- Floating Lemons and Sinking Limes from A Moment In Our World
- Does it dissolve? from Coffee Cups and Crayons
- Walking Water Experiment from Learn Play Imagine