We loved doing this STEM-based cotton candy experiment for kids and exploring different states of matter with our cotton candy machine sponsored by Wayfair.
Whoo-hoo! It’s spring break right now and the kids have been home with us all week. They haven’t really been off since February break, so I was really happy to have them home with me for a few days. Normally, we spend their break taking day trips to cool places on Long Island, but this break, we did something completely different.
We welcomed a flock of baby chicks into our home. This is a brand new family adventure for us and we seriously cannot get over how fluffy and cute these little girls truly are. But, as we are quickly finding out, these chicks grow up super fast, so we’ve been logging as many hours as we can down in the basement playing with them.
However, the sun was shining and there was a lovely breeze in the air this morning, so we asked the kids if they would be interested in setting aside their baby chicks to come outside and play with us. My sister and I were surprised when we were met with looks of complete disgust.
You want us to leave our babies?!
Why we would go out when we can stay in here with them?!
They’ll be all grown up when we come back!
What if they need more water?
But look, I just taught her how to perch on my arm!!
To be honest, we had no idea that it would be so hard to pull them apart from their “babies,” so we knew we would have to come up with something really cool to do if we had any hopes of enjoying some sunshine today. Luckily for us, our friends at Wayfair had sent us a super cool cotton candy machine to play with and we were going to bribe the kids out of the basement with a tasty, easy science experiment.
I’m not sure about you, but cotton candy always brings back some really fond memories of my childhood. Our Dad once told us that it used to be called “Fairy Floss” because it looked so fluffy and dainty and exquisite. I’m pretty sure he knew his kids would really love that random tidbit and he was right!
Anyways, having a happy nerd for a Mom usually means that I’ll come up with some hairbrained way for us to test something out or look further into what’s what. Sometimes, my kids think it’s cool like this cotton candy experiment. Other times, they’re mortified. (I’m still not sure which side of the fence I fell on when my son had his friend over and I made them make a potato radio. #truestroy)
But today, we were all about food science and we bribed them out of the basement by telling them that we were going to do a cotton candy experiment. The bonus? They got to eat the project when we were finished!
I love any kind of kids project that subtlely weaves STEM learning into it without the kids realizing that they’re actually learning something. In the end, they always figure out what we’ve done. (The horror! What kind of monster would sneak learning into a school break?!) But by then, they’ve had too much fun doing it to complain (too much).
For our cotton candy experiment, the kids each got out a notebook and drew out the various states of the candy. We never correct them in their observations – we just let their ideas flow and then discuss them a bit more at the end. They noted down that the candy floss went from powdered sugar to melted candy to powdery fluff. It was really cool for them to see a food item take on some many different forms during the course of one experiment.
To keep them paying attention to our cotton candy experiment for kids, we then took the cotton candy fluff and turned it back to liquid and made them a tasty treat to enjoy in moderation. Again, we miraculously became superstars…even if it was just for a hot second!
If you don’t have a cotton candy machine, don’t fret! This cotton candy experiment can be done with store-bought cotton candy too making it a perfect science fair project!
P.S. This also makes an incredibly cool adult party trick, so if you’re needing some adult drink ideas, head over to Wayfair’s Cotton Candy Cocktails page!
Cotton Candy Experiment For Kids
Materials for the cotton candy experiment:
- Cotton Candy
- Seltzer, flavored or unflavored*
Directions for the cotton candy experiment:
Step 1: Fill glasses with a sizeable amount of cotton candy.
Step 2: Gather the kiddies around and pour seltzer over the cotton candy. Watch it magically dissolve!
Step 3: Repeat with each glass and watch your children’s faces light up.
*Note: This drink is super sweet. We used Lime seltzer the first time. The boys loved it, but the girls said we could have used plain seltzer instead.
Did you enjoy this cotton candy experiment for kids? Then check out some of our other STEM activities for kids!
- 4 summer stem activities for kids
- how to make baking soda rockets for kids
- volcano science experiment for kids
- how to make an electromagnet with kids