Gummy bear science

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on January 20, 2013

in Gummy Bear Science, Science and Nature

I love it when I find a new and simple way to explore a scientific process with my students and today I want to share with you our gummy bear science…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

Before I share a description of our  gummy bear science, let me first introduce you to a new book titled, “Candy Experiments,” by Loralee Leavitt. When Loralee offered to send me a copy of her book, I was super excited to check it out…

Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt 001

“Candy Experiments” is a wonderful book of simple candy experiments that range from “The Incredible Growing Gummy Worm” to  “Marshmallow Aqua-Squash.”  For each candy experiment, Loralee shares “What you will need,” “What to do,” and   “What is happening” in simple to follow directions. Loralee also provides additional tips along the way and wonderful photos of each process to help you visualize the process before you try it just a bit. You can learn more about this book and purchase a copy for yourself by clicking here: “Candy Experiments” by Loralee Leavitt.

Candy Experiments by Teach Preschool

Our class has already tried three of the experiments in “Candy Science” including “How to Sink a Marshmallow” and the candy cane rainbow shown below. Loralee emailed me and told me about the candy cane rainbow but there is a version of this process in her book using peppermint candies….

Candy Cane Rainbow by Teach Preschool

So now onto gummy bear science which my students loved.  In the “Candy Experiments” book, Loralee used gummy worms for this process but I thought we would try it with gummy bears since we were already on the topic of bears…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

To begin the process, each child filled their clear plastic cup about half way up with water…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

The children selected one gummy bear and dropped it into their cup of water.  The children smelled the water, smelled the bear, and even asked to taste the bear.  I told them if they could wait until after we completed our gummy bear science that I would give them each a gummy bear to taste…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

I asked the children to tell me what they think might happen to the bear if we let it sit in the water for a few days. As the children told me their observations and predictions, Mrs. Courtney quickly jotted their thoughts down on a sheet of paper…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

After making our observations and predictions, the children set their gummy bears aside for the weekend…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

I checked in on the gummy bears all throughout the weekend. I too was curious to know what would happen to them. I didn’t know if they would fall apart, dissolve, or get bigger since I had modified the candy from the book and since we had to leave them over an entire weekend which for us is four whole days…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

When the children came back to school, they immediately went to see what had happened to their gummy bears and we had our follow-up discussion…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

The children wanted to smell their water and some asked to even taste the water. We didn’t taste it but we did smell it and it smelled very sweet…

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

I gave each child a new gummy bear so they could compare their bear in the water with one that hadn’t been in the water (and then they got to eat their new gummy bear). The children looked at their gummy bears on the light table and on our regular table…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

We discovered that our gummy bears had bubbles all over them. (The bubbles will go away once you actually touch the gummy bears and put them back into the water – so don’t touch too early!) We also discovered that our red gummy bears had slightly changed the water color but the other colors of gummy bears didn’t noticeably change the water color at all…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

We also discovered that our gummy bears were floating in the water. I dropped a new gummy bear in the water to remind the children how the gummy bears were not floating before…

Classroom Photos 007

We also discovered that our gummy bears had definitely gotten larger. They had grown at least twice the size of the original gummy bear size and they were now almost see-through…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

We wrapped up our gummy bear science by using our hands to feel our gummy bears.  We discovered that our gummy bears were squishy, cold, and they even bounced a bit when we dropped them on the table…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

The children were then invited to squish their gummy bears up if they wanted and then toss them out into the trash…

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

I really didn’t mean for this post to go so long but I hope you enjoyed our gummy bear science as much as we did and will be able to give it a try too! Perhaps you would rather use gummy worms. We will be using gummy worms this spring for sure!

Gummy Bear Science by Teach Preschool

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Ms.Mac January 20, 2013 at 8:03 am

This seems like fun. I am also often looking for fun ways to explore science with my preschoolers. I think I will try it and check out the book.

2 kristin January 20, 2013 at 9:23 am

oh yes!!!! i love this. thank you, i’ll be doing this. : )

3 Heidi Butkus January 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

Hi, Deborah!
I love it! I just ordered the book, too! I think I will do some candy experiments for Valentine’s Day. Fun, fun, fun! Thanks for sharing,
Heidi Butkus

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 20, 2013 at 10:59 am

I love the book Heidi – it gives lots of ideas that you can really modify to work for your class plus it makes you look at the possibilities for candy science that you might not have thought of before!

5 Sharon January 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I wonder if you had marked the side of the cups with a marker to note the water level if that would have been a further topic of discussion?

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm

We talked about the water level and how much water to put in the cup although we didn’t mark the cup. I didn’t want to place any constraints on the process than I felt was absolutely necessary.

7 Rebecca January 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

How cool! I just saw this on Pinterest (had a bad link unfortunately) where it teased, “Have the kids compare what will happen to the gummy bears in water, club soda and vinegar. Students had fun predicting and were surprised by the results. Drain, and leave in cup another day and the students will be in even more awe!” I don’t know the answer to that, now I’m curious! Maybe a follow up with your students so I can find out, too? :)

8 Vicky @ Mess For Less January 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

That looks like such a fun book. What great ideas! How I wish my kids were in your class. You do the most fun experiements! Just pinned this.

9 School Sparks Renee January 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

What a fabulous way to teach children some scientific methods. I also loved how you involved several of their senses to investigate! The book looks terrific, too. Thanks for sharing it and your pictures, too! Renee

10 G.Perez February 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I really like this science activity, I am sure the children enjoy this activity.
very good ☺

11 Nancy Marvin February 26, 2013 at 7:27 am

We did this in my class during “Bear” week. The children examined and observed the bears before they poured the water on them. We checked them 2 hours later before we left for the day. When we came in the next morning the children were excited to see their bears had tripled in size. We touched them and observed the changes. The children then picked them up and squished them in their hands, I believe this was their favorite part of the experiment!

12 Kathy March 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Thank you for sharing the resource for candy experiments. I started doing some of them in conjuction with floating and sinking. Exciting, easy, educational, and a huge hit.

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