There aren’t enough words to tell you how AWESOME this project is! This candy heart science tray is hours of fun.
Your kids are going to LOVE this candy heart science tray
And honestly, so are you!
The stars of the show are baking soda, vinegar, and candy hearts, and together these three musketeers are an absolute blast. Not only do the kids love this activity, but adults think it’s just as fun as the kids.
Related: Have you seen our GIANT 10-foot coloring banners? They’re enormous, adorable, and perfect for your celebrations!
This candy heart science tray is an every year thing for us
Well, first thing’s first: we have a lot of candy hearts in our classroom every year. We have all of our students bring a bag to school and we use them for many, many projects such as candy heart oobleck, candy heart smash and smoosh, this one, and more!
I first learned about adding materials (ex: candy hearts, peppermints, etc.) into our baking soda + vinegar trays from my sweet, brilliant friend Katy @prekwolfpack. The first time I added candy hearts into the action, confetti fell from the skies and the kids were absolutely out of their minds.
Since it was such a hit, we add it to the rotation every year now. Once you do this activity, your kids will ask to do it every year, too!
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- Baking soda
- Coloring (ex: liquid watercolors or food dye)
- Candy hearts
- Eyedroppers (or spoons)
- Shallow tray (the tray photographed here is from Target at back-to-school time, but we found similar trays with great reviews!)
- Spread a thin layer of baking soda into the base of your shallow tray: We add just enough to cover the bottom. You can spread it thicker, but just enough to color the bottom is plenty.
- Color your vinegar: Add a small squirt of coloring and an eye dropper to each container. This is an excellent step for kids to help with!
- Lay out supplies: Put your shallow tray, colored vinegar with eye droppers, and candy hearts out for your child and invite them to explore freely. Note: We make a rule only to add one candy heart at a time (to prevent them from adding six handfuls in a row and ending the project early).
Listen to that sizzle!
No matter how often I do baking soda and vinegar experiments, the fizzing and sizzling sounds are always SO MUCH FUN.
There’s something magical about the sound and kids will stay at this station for houuuuurs.
How long does this activity last for?
Depending on how much baking soda you have, it can go on and on and on. The reason is that baking soda and vinegar react when combined, but it’s not a one-and-done kind of thing. Even after the baking soda gets wet, it will continue to fizz when the vinegar is squirted on many times in a row!
To make it last even longer, you can pour off the vinegar once it’s completely soaked (just tip your container and let the liquid pour out). To make it last EVEN LONGER, you can sprinkle on a fresh layer of baking soda after you do this.
Sometimes, we even let the baking soda trays dry out overnight and then let the kids resume the next day. So, if you want this activity to be short, it can, but if you want it to be long, it can, too!
Why add the candy hearts?
1 – They’re FUN!
2 – They will slowly dissolve and it’s a fantastic lesson for kids to observe this phenomenon. Additionally, you could introduce the concepts of “solids vs. liquids,” which they can see right before their eyes.
3 – Introduce the challenge of inviting kids to see if they can cover the candy hearts with the fizz. The fizz only fizzes so high, so they must work hard and quickly. If this is an easy challenge for your kids, invite them to stack two candies on top of one another and see if they can cover the stack with the fizz!
While baking soda, vinegar, and candy hearts are indeed edible products, we recommend doing this activity with kids who will NOT eat the ingredients. Consuming any of these materials in large quantities could be dangerous or lead to choking.
The candy hearts add some fun to this project, but you can always do it without! We love plain baking soda and vinegar trays, too.
Dilute your vinegar! If you dilute it all the way to 1:1 water and vinegar, it will still work.
You have to try this candy heart science tray
And pronto! Your kids will love this open-ended, fizzy, engaging science experiment that just keeps on giving.
Thankful for friends like Katy who share their brilliant brains with the world so our kids can have the most fun.