Candy Experiments are a Fun Alternative to Eating Halloween Treats

By Brandi Koskie - Senior Editor for

The onslaught of candy, calories and sugar is in full swing as men, women and children start dipping their hands into the trick-or-treat reserves. On a holiday so focused on candy, everyone's got to indulge... a little. But we're a culture that doesn't "get" moderation and fully participates in the splurge. Kids aren't the only ones prey to the Halloween sugar high, we adults are just as guilty of taking one too many trips to the candy bucket.

So what to do? Get a handle on that whole practicing moderation thing. Maybe even hand out candy alternatives or healthier treats (we love these Scarrots, holiday-themed baby carrots). Your neighbors, however, are stockpiling chocolate, suckers and candy corn to send home with your kids.

Let your kids rake in as much candy as possible. Then, spend a chilly fall day inside doing science experiments... with candy! We've gathered a few of our favorite candy experiments from around the web to make it that much easier to give it a try. You'll get to unload a lot of the candy loot (that they won't miss anyway), and have some good old fashioned fun together.

Give the kids rubber gloves, a kitchen apron and even swimming goggles to fuel their imaginations and really set the mad scientist scene in your homemade science lab!

Skittles Density Rainbow

You won't exactly taste the rainbow but you will get to make one. Kids and adults alike will ooh and ahh at how the colors separate in a bowl to produce a perfect rainbow.

Floating Ms -

Just add a bowl, water, and a couple packs of M&Ms. Watch closely as the floating candies begin to shed their sugar-coated skin. Have the kids guess which part of the candy will be the last to separate!

Will it Float? -

A guessing game that could go on forever, you'll need a variety of candies, like 3 Musketeers, Kit-Kat, hard candies and anything else in the stash. Hypothesize which candies will sink or float, then place each in its own bowl of water to find the answer.


With a bag of Skittles and an extra hour your older mini scientists will learn all about chromatography, the process of separating and analyzing different chemicals. You'll need candy, coffee filters, pencil, toothpick, water, salt, foil, empty two-liter, and measuring cups.

Fat Test

For the most part candy is primarily sugar, but would you be surprised to learn it contains some fat, too? Soft, chewy candies like Starburst contain oil and this easy experiment will help you find it. Use these candies, your microwave and a microwavable plate to find the oil that rises to the surface of this sugary puddle.

Glow in the Dark -

You might be old enough to remember the commercial encouraging you to take a Wint-O-Green Lifesaver into a dark room, bite into it, and watch for the spark. This is a fun test with kids of any age.

Stained Glass Ornaments

More craft than science, this is a memorable way to reduce the number of hard candies and suckers that no one really wants to eat anyway. Melt these, pour into cookie cutters and use a straw to make a ribbon hole. The end result is a beautiful "stained-glass" ornament you can use in a few weeks to decorate the tree.

Rotten Pumpkins -

We've got one more use for those trash-bound Jack-O-Lanterns. Cut them in half, place one outside and one inside. Kids can experience the decomposition process, learn about mold, bacteria, dehydration and more.

For more healthy and fun tips for this spooky holiday, also read:

Healthy Halloween Recipes for Kids

Calories in Your Favorite Halloween Candy

Halloween Music Workout Playlist