Kids love candy and kids love science, so why not combine these two faves into one afternoon of learning and laughter? From launching gumdrops in a catapult to making a fresh batch of your own, we’ve found easy, edible science experiments that kids of all ages will love getting into. Read on to get started.

gumdrop-structures-engineering-challenge-imagephoto: The Homeschool Scientist

1. Gumdrop Structural Challenge

Every list of gumdrop science should start with the classic structural engineering challenge using toothpicks and candy. We’re particularly fond of this one from The Homeschool Scientist because it helps you explain what the concepts (engineering, load distribution, physics, shape comparison) are to your kiddos while doing it. Visit The Homeschool Scientist to get going.

gumdrop-science-melted-candy-ornament-christmas-decoration-melting-science

photo: Little Bins for Little Hands 

2. Melting Gumdrop Science

When it comes to gumdrop science, Little Bins for Little Hands has more than one awesome idea to choose from. We love this melting gumdrop experiment because, well, you get to melt gumdrops! It’s a great way to use up leftover candy and it explores the concepts of heat and liquids and solids. You can use any shaped cookie cutter, too, depending on the season. Get the whole how-to over at Little Bins for Big Hands.

gumdrop bug photo: Jen Vargas via flickr 

3. Build a Bug

Put this cute idea together with your mini entomologists using gumdrops, toothpicks and any other candy or food you have on hand to make the parts. Visit the Amateur Entomologist’s Society to get graphics on parts of the insect and talk about it with your kiddos as you craft gummy parts.

gumdrop-catapolts-no-wm-540x605photo: Joy in the Works 

4. Make a Gumdrop Catapult

There is science and then there is SCIENCE! Sending candy hurling through the air because your parents said you are learning is pretty much the best scenario a kid can imagine (next to eating all of said candy). And thanks to Joy in the Works your kids can join in the fun. You don’t need too many fancy things to make this happen, but make sure you have a camera on hand to capture their faces when you tell them what today’s science lesson is. Get the engineering how-to here.

gumdrop bridge photo: Oregon Dept. of Transportation via flickr

5. Create a Structural Bridge

Another take on the structural challenge is gumdrop bridge building. With toothpicks and gumdrops, you’ll want to to balance your structure between two books, end tables or similar. What shape is strongest? How will your structure hold up? How much weight can it take? It’s an excellent next-level task to see if you can make it stay!

gumdrop hearts photo: Alexa Clark via flickr 

6. Make Your Own Gumdrops

Yes, candy making totally counts as science! The science part is watching something liquid turn into a (jelly-like) solid. The added joy is getting to eat the product. We’re super fond of this recipe from The Stay at Home Chef. Yum, science! 

Do you have any gumdrop science experiments to share? Tell us in the comments below!

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—Amber Guetebier