Growing Gummy Candies Science Experiment

Oct 31, 2014

At this time of year, I love coming up with creative ways to put my little one’s Halloween stash to good use. While most of it isn’t stuff I want her gobbling up, we always find ways to use her treats for play, art, and learning activities, which in my very humble mama opinion, is even better!  This simple science experiment is a classic (in fact I remember doing it as a 12-year old babysitter way back when), but it’s always fun and can be done with almost any of the gummy candies that show up in your little one’s trick-or-treating bag this year.

What you’ll need:

  • several gummy candies (we used bears this time, but I think gummy worms would be really fun!)
  • water (room temperature, hot, and sparkling)
  • 3 clear glasses or jars
  • a ruler
  • a spoon


1.  To get started, get into scientist mode by investigating one of your gummy candies. Talk about its size, shape, and texture. Be sure to measure it so you’ll know how much it’s grown throughout the experiment.

2.  Next, fill your 3 cups about halfway full of water (one with sparkling water, one with room-temperature water and one with hot water) and label them in one way or another so you remember which is which. 

3.  Now you’re ready to attempt growing gummy bears! Drop one candy in each cup.

4.  Give the candies just a moment in the water and then start on your second round of scientific observations.  We noticed that our bear in the sparkling water was almost immediately covered in tiny bubbles and that the bear in the hot water appeared to be dissolving after just a moment’s time (our water was very hot).  At this point, you can also make some predictions about what will happen to each of the bears as the experiment plays out.

5.  Let your gummy bears soak for an hour and then come back to see what’s changed. We carefully lifted the bears soaking in room temperature and sparkling water out of their cups to get a better look, but noticed that the gummy bear in hot water had already separated into several pieces, so we decided to leave it as it was.

To check whether or not the gummy bears have done any growing, try measuring them and comparing them with one of their non-soaked counterparts. You should see a little bit of growth already!  After making your observations, put the bears back into their cups and leave them overnight (or for several more hours, depending on the time of day).

6.  In the morning (or later in the day), remove the gummy bears from the water once again. This time, you’ll want to scoop them up very gently because as they absorb more water, they also become more likely to break during the handling process. Once again, measure them and observe their overall appearance, size, and texture.  You should see lots of growth by now! Talk about what’s happened with your child and encourage them to ask questions.

And if your results are the same as ours, don’t forget to talk about what happened to the gummy bear placed in hot water too!  As much as it may not be the outcome they expected, it provides a great learning opportunity and will most likely be the start of a pretty interesting conversation.

For more fun candy activities, see our collection here.  Happy Halloween!

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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