Skittle Science

Word of the week: diffusion the spreading of something more widely. (usually involves water.)

Introduction: This experiment is a fun and easy way for kids to explore science using candies that they love. It teaches them about diffusion and incorporates many other fun aspects of science for them to learn about.


There are only a few supplies needed for this fun and colorful experiment.

  1. A bag of skittles or other colorful candies
  2. A plate or a clear container (preferably white)
  3. Room temperature water, warm water, and cold water.

How To:

  1. Set up the skittles around the perimeter of the plate or bowl
  2. Carefully pour water over the skittles or other candies (If they move push them back quickly!)
  3. Observe what happens to the colors

Why do the colors run?

Well, the skittles are covered in food coloring and sugar so when the water hits the surface they coloring and sugar dissolves causing the colors to spread through the water. This process is called diffusion! 

Questions to ask:

  1. How long does it take the colors to spread to the middle with room temperature water?
  2. How long does it take for the colors to spread using warm water vs. cold water? Is there a huge time difference?
  3. How could the reaction be sped up?
  4. Try other candies too! Are there any others that work as well as the skittles?

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