This easy-to-prep candy heart experiment will have your kids excavating for candies in no time! Perfect for large or small groups, these are hours and hours of fun.
This candy heart experiment is what you never knew you needed
As you’ve probably come to see, we love ourselves some candy heart activities! We have several bags of them in the classroom for many activities, and these simple cubes are new to the club.
I have always wanted to try making candy heart ice cubes and finally decided to take the plunge. As the saying goes, my only regret is not having tried these sooner.
If you’re new to ice excavating activities for kids, you’re in for a treat! These activities are simple to set up, use basic supplies, and kids go CRAZY for them.
Related: Did you know that we carry enormous 10-foot coloring page banners? They’re a blast for artists of all ages!
Your kids will love excavating this candy heart experiment
We love an activity that can be prepped in advance, and this one is perfect to have ready in the freezer a day or two (or 20) in advance.
Plus, they’re easy to make in bulk! If you’re doing this with a large group of kids, it’s still easy to prep many ice cubes and have them ready for large amounts of eager hands.
Double plus, if you have kids of mixed ages, even if there’s a significant age gap, this one is a winner as kids (and adults) of all ages can enjoy it together. While they’re a hit for preschoolers, they’re equally exciting to elementary kids and beyond.
Interested in more ice activities? Here are some to try!
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- Candy hearts
- Jars or bowls
- Ice cube trays
- Eye droppers
- Salt (table salt – the cheap stuff)
- Shallow tray (the trays photographed here are from Target at back-to-school time, but we found similar trays with great reviews!)
- Tongs or tweezers (optional)
Begin by filling your ice cube trays with water and a few candy hearts. Freeze until solid.
When ready to begin, simply pop the ice cubes out of the trays and into the shallow containers. Next, provide your kids with salt and jars of water with eye droppers. Finally, invite your kids to squirt the water and sprinkle the salt onto the ice cubes to expedite melting, therefore releasing the candies.
How to add MORE science to this activity (you have to try this!)
As you can see in our photos, we separated the ice cubes into blue and red trays. While each tray had the same ice cubes and the same bowl of salt, the water wasn’t the same temperature. 😉
In the jar on the red tray, I filled it with warm water, whereas the jar on the blue tray was filled with cold water.
Introducing water in different temperatures adds a TON of learning to this activity! Of course, as an adult, you know that the warm water will melt the ice cubes faster than the cold, but this a brand-new concept that many kids will be exploring for the very first time.
If using this method, first call attention to the different types of water, invite kids to make predictions about what they think the different waters will do, and then test the ideas.
We. Love. Adding. Science! These minor, easy tweaks can take an activity to the next level.
Add in fine motor tools
Simple materials like tongs or tweezers also add an extra level of fun!
Kids will learn that a candy cannot always come out easily, but instead needs to be fully exposed before it can be removed. Kids can easily and efficiently use their fingers to remove the candies, but fine motor tools are also fun to keep kids engaged and learning heightened.
What will dissolve candy hearts?
Will the warm water dissolve the cady hearts faster than the cold?
Will the cold water dissolve the candy hearts faster than the warm?
Does the salt play a role in the process?
Is there an additional material that would dissolve the candy hearts EVEN FASTER?
Scientists ask questions of themselves and their work every day, and this activity is a fantastic opportunity for your child to do the same.
Any age that won’t put the materials in their mouth. Candy hearts and ice cubes can be choking hazards, so make sure to supervise at all times.
To melt the ice. Salt lowers the freezing point of the ice, thus making it dissolve even faster.
Once you’re done, toss your candy hearts in the garbage, or let them dry out and use them again for another project.
We give this candy heart experiment two thumbs up!
If you’re new to ice cube excavation, this won’t be your last time trying it out. Trust us, once your kids get to do this kind of activity, they will beg to do it again.
The next time you’re at the store, grab a bag of candy hearts and it’s science time. If you have any leftover candy, try smashing them up, too!