The infamous skittles experiment is easy, low-cost, and provides many investigative opportunities. Try using different temperatures of water, white vinegar or even lemonade to investigate what happens.
The skittles experiment is definitely a must-try science investigation for kids of all ages. It never gets any less impressive!
Colourful Skittles Experiment
What you need:
A plate or container – preferably white
Skittles ( other coated sweets work too )
Water – warm and cold
Skittles Experiment Instructions
Place your skittles or sweets into a white container, and try to alternate the colours.
Carefully pour water into the container; if the skittles move, push them back into place quickly.
Watch what happens.
Experiment with different shapes and patterns of skittles.
Why do the colours spread?
Skittles are coated in food colouring and sugar. When you pour water over the skittles, the coloured coating dissolves, spreading through the water.
The colour and sugar dissolve into the water and then diffuse through it, making the water the colour of the sweet.
Skittle Experiment Extension Ideas
Can you time how long the colours take to reach the centre of the plate using cold and warm water? Which do you think will be faster?
Try using other sweets. Can you find any that work as well as skittles?
Questions to ask and think about
Why do you think the colours don’t mix?
Can you spot the ‘S’ from the skittles? What happens to it?
How can you speed up the reaction?
Do the colours mix eventually?
More science investigations using candy
Use any spare skittles to try some candy chromatography! Did you know that some skittles contain more than one colour?
If you liked this activity, you’ll love my other candy science experiments!
How about one of my easy Roald Dahl themed activity ideas? Make potions for George, chocolate play dough for Charlie, a wormery for The Twits, an upside down house and lots more!
Playdough to Plato has a brilliant growing a gummy bear activity too. Who wouldn’t want a bigger gummy bear? Do you think it will taste as good as a small one?
If your children enjoyed this skittles experiment, they’ll love my book, Snackable Science!
Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Emma Vanstone