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- 2-3 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- Skewers/candy sticks
- A jar or glass
- A large saucepan
Note: You can easily double and triple the above recipe. We wanted to make a whole rainbow of rock candy colors, so we ended up using 10 cups of water and close to 30 cups of sugar. As long as the sugar to water ration is close to 3:1 the rock candy will grow.
- Combine equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until all of the sugar is dissolved
- Then slowly add more sugar in small amounts until it will no longer dissolve in the water
- The water should start to look a little cloudy. That is the point when no more sugar is dissolving and the perfect sugar saturation has been reached. Basically, you are creating a saturated sugar solution (a solution in which no more sugar can dissolve at a particular temperature) The amount of sugar verses water used should be roughly 3:1. Add candy flavoring if desired, and then continue to heat the water until it comes to a simmer.
- Remove the sugar-water from the heat and allow it to cool. While it is cooling you can prepare your skewers or candy sticks. Cut the skewers to a desirable size for the jars you are using. Then dip the sticks in water and roll them in sugar
- Allow the sugar coated sticks to dry. While those are drying you can prep your jar(s). Once your sugar-water is cool enough pour it into jars and add food coloring if desired. Then, once the sticks are dry place them in the jar(s).
- You want to make sure that the sugar coated sticks are completely dry before placing them in the jars. The rock candy needs the sugar to grow on, and if the sugar on the sticks isn't dry it will dissolve in the water. It is also important to make sure that the sticks are not touching the bottom or sides of the jar
That's it! It is now time to sit back and observe the jars. Rosie and Jewel loved checking on their jars each day. This was what our rock candy looked like after just one day
After three days
After one week
After a week we were happy with how much our rock candy had grown, but you could leave yours in the jars longer if desired. Once you are happy with the growth just remove the candy sticks from the jars, and place them on a plate to dry. Once dry you will have a yummy treat to enjoy.
Eating the candy was my girls favorite part of course! They said it was the best candy they had ever tasted, and I am sure that is in large part because they grew it themselves.
The Science Behind the Fun:
This activity is also a great lesson in Science. Be sure to discuss the Science behind the rock candy experiment and explain to little ones what is going on. Rosie and Jewel were really fascinated with the Science. Here are some helpful links for explaining just what is happening:
- Rock Candy: What's Going On?
- Sugary Secrets: Candy Making Chemistry
- The Sweet Science of Candy Making
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For More Science Fun Check Out:
(Click the photos)
(Click the photos)
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