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science experiments with {leftover} valentine candy

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SO, yeah. Valentine’s Day has longed since passed, but we still have an unreasonable amount of candy in our home. (And by “unreasonable” I mean candy that I wouldn’t eat, because it would be GONE by now…) So what’s a girl to do with giant marshmallows in the shape of hearts and raspberry cream filled nastiness?

Two words: SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS

You heard me. Don’t touch that dial. We used our leftover candy to learn a little more about science this week. Here’s what we did:

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For our first experiment, we used a ruler to measure out straws and used them to build marshmallow structures. The purpose in this experiment was to see 1.)how many inches long the straw was before and after it was cut, 2.) how many inches are in one foot, and 3.) how many triangles you can make by attaching the straws together with your structure. (They did a similar experiment with smaller marshmallows and toothpicks at a parenting expo we attended a few weekends ago. My kids and toothpicks don’t mix. Straws are a good backup..) Clearly some of us just made aliens with a marshmallow head and three legs. And that’s cool, too.

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For this experiment we did a combination of two ideas. First, we took those insanely gross cream filled chocolates I mentioned earlier and a marshmallow, and played “Sink or Float”. Each child had to state their hypothesis before dropping the candy in the water. Why did one sink and the other float? Next, we took the straws from earlier and the kids had a “race” with the floating marshmallows. What makes them move faster along the water? (Blowing the air faster through the straw, etc). You get the idea. And look how intense Titus is. He wanted a winning marshmallow, no way around it.

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Finally, (and, admittedly, this is something we did in college with Peeps from Easter..) we placed the giant marshmallow heart in the microwave and set it to 20 seconds and watched. The marshmallow balloons to a huge heart and it is pretty awesome. What happens when heat makes the molecules move faster in the marshmallow? (it grows). Once we opened the microwave door and the cool air seeps in, what happens next? (the molecules slow down and the marshmallow shrinks). And should my kids be standing that close to a microwave? Probably not.

So, there you have it, folks. If you wanna get rid of the vagabond valentine candy, I am your girl. We did something similar a few years back with Halloween candy. You can read that Skittle-ridden post {here}.

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