A magical Skittles experiment to explore colors, water stratification and more! A cool STEM activity perfect to do at home during the summer!
Dissolving Skittles Color Science Experiment
What summer slide??
During the summer we definitely aren’t using worksheets, but we still like to keep our minds sharp. One way is real-life science activities. You’d be surprised what you can do with simple kitchen supplies!
This dissolving Skittles experiment is super easy to set up, and almost magical to watch in action! Your kids will want to try it again and again!
Since the 4th of July is just a couple weeks away, we used red, white, and blue Skittles for our experiment. However, you can do the same thing with rainbow skittles year-round!
PS- For more 4th of July fun, check out our huge collection of Patriotic Kids Crafts here!
What Do Kids Learn from this Skittles Experiment?
This Skittles science experiment is great for kids of all ages because it explores many different scientific principles and properties:
You can make it is complicated or as simple as is appropriate for the ages of your kids. Plus, it’s just plain cool to watch!
Skittles Experiment Supplies
You only need 3 simple supplies to create this dissolving Skittles experiment! I’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products used in this kids science experiment. Read our disclosure policy here.
- Skittles “America Mix”
- Warm Water
- White dinner plate
TIP: You can enjoy this Skittles science activity year-round by using regular rainbow-colored or even special seasonal mixes!
How to do the Skittles Color Experiment
First, watch our quick video demo to see our Skittles experiment in action! Then keep reading for photo step-by-step directions. We’ve also included a printable copy at the bottom of the post.
Click video to play:
First, separate your red, white, and blue Skittles into groups for each of the colors. This makes it easier to create your designs.
Next, arrange your Skittles on a plate — we used white because the colors show up most vividly against a white background. We made a star, but feel free to get creative with your designs!
Once you’ve arranged your Skittles into a pattern, it’s time to watch the “magic!”
Pour warm water onto the plate, just enough so that all of the candies are in the water, but taking care not to overflow the plate.
TIP: Pour slowly, so as not to disturb your pattern.
Watch as the color from the Skittles begins to bleed and fill the plate with color.
What do you observe?
- How long does it take for the color to completely separate from the Skittles?
- Do the colors mix?
Now Try This:
- Try the experiment again with cold water! How do the results differ from using warm water? Do the colors dissolve faster or slower?
- Do the colors ever mix (for both warm and cold water)? How long does it take? Does cold water or warm water mix faster? The same?
- Try the experiment with white vinegar! What do you observe?
- Do different patterns of Skittles affect the way colors dissolve or if they do/don’t mix?
What Did We Learn from our Skittles Science Experiment?
After trying a variety of different setups and liquids to dissolve the skittles, talk with your kids about what you saw.
I have to admit that I learned something new too with this Skittles science experiment!
- Water Stratification is what keeps the colors from mixing right away. Essentially, distinct water layers with different densities form, and these different properties keep the colors from mixing. Want to know more? This article explains it well.
Printable Skittles Experiment Instructions
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Skittles Experiment: Exploring Color Science
- Skittles "America Mix"
- Warm Water
- White dinner plate
- Separate Skittles into groups by color.
- Next, arrange Skittles in a design on a white plate.
- Pour warm water onto the plate, just enough so that all of the candies are in the water, but taking care not to overflow the plate.
- Watch as the color from the Skittles begins to bleed and fill the plate with color.
- Ask kids to write down what they observe. Do the colors mingle? Etc.
More Kitchen Science Activities:
We love making edible slime recipes using simple kitchen ingredients! Try all the different recipes to find your favorites — it’s hours of safe sensory play!