Rock Candy

This was SO FUN to make with the kids. It brought back memories of using all of my own mom’s sugar to make my own rock candy when I was a kid. Yes, Mom, now you know what kept happening to the sugar. This was like a craft, recipe and science lesson all in one.

Here’s what you need to do: Boil 1 cup of water and then dissolve 1 cup of sugar in it, stirring continuously until it is all dissolved. Then add another 1 cup and stir continuously until it is all dissolved. This may take a few minutes and  you will notice the water turning to the consistency of syrup. Use this time to explain to your child that when water is cold, it can only hold a certain amount of sugar but when it’s properties are changed, such as it’s temperature, it can hold more sugar. When the sugar is all dissolved, you can add some food coloring if you prefer. We used yellow food coloring.  Carefully pour the mixture into a glass. You might want to let it sit and cool for a bit so your glass doesn’t break due to the temperature of the mixture. Place a wooden skewer into the glass and just let it set for a few days. It only took 3 days for the candy to form pictured here.

You can also jump start the crystalization process by dipping the skewer into the mixture and then rolling it in sugar. You must let it cool before placing it back into the glass of mixture or else the sugar will just fall right off.

Explain to your child that as the water in the mixture evaporates, it leaves behind the sugar. The sugar then crystalizes (attaches) onto the wooden skewer. This is also a great opportunity to show them that candy IS sugar! My child was amazed at the whole process and watching her face when she realized how much sugar is in candy made her totally rethink how much candy she wanted to eat. Add another point to the “mom” column for that one!