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Guest Post: Extra Candy? Try Candy Experiments!

Loralee Leavitt is the creator of Her articles about candy experiments have appeared in Family Fun, Parents, Mothering, Highlights, ParentMap, and Miami Family Magazine.  Recently she presented candy experiments at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

Pictures reprinted by permission of

As a Green Halloween reader, you’ve filled your Halloween bowl with healthy treats and eco-friendly toys for trick-or-treaters.  But unless your own trick o’ treaters stick to Green Halloween houses, they’ll bring home loads of candy you don’t want them to eat.  What can you do with it all?

Try candy experiments.

Three years ago, my daughter started our family’s candy experiment tradition.  “What would happen if I put these Nerds in water?” she asked me.  I got her a bowl of water, she dissolved the Nerds into a lovely purple liquid, and we poured it down the drain.  When she asked again a few days later, I covered the table with bowls of water.  It didn’t take long for my two children to dissolve and dump their entire Halloween stash.

Since that fateful November, we’ve gone through bags and bags of candy.  We’ve dissolved it, smashed it, floated it, microwaved it, frozen it, painted with it, and tried whatever else we could think of.  We’ve learned about density, dissolving in hot or cold water, testing for acid in sour candy, and water displacement (what happens when your son dumps so much candy in a bowl of water that the water overflows).

At, we’ve posted a dozen of these experiments that kids can try at home.  For instance:

Acid Test: Test for acid by dissolving sour candy in water, then add a spoonful of baking soda to make bubbles

Find Hidden Candy: check labels to see how much sugar is in a serving of food, then weigh sugary candy so the kids can see how much sugar that really is

Oil Test: Melt chewy candy to separate out oil spots

But you don’t have to use our experiments.  Put out bowls of water, table knives, rolling pins, and whatever else you think might help them get creative with their candy.  You’ll be surprised how fast they go through it all–without eating it!

So don’t be dismayed by big bags of Halloween sugar.  Set up a candy lab in your kitchen, and watch the candy dissolve away.

Green Halloween® is a nationwide non-profit initiative started by mother-daughter team Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell. In 2010, Green Halloween became a program of EcoMom® Alliance and has events in cities across the U.S.

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