This summer keep your kids learning and engaged with fun hands-on experiments and projects that pack in big time fun without the need for a lot of supplies or clean-up afterwards. In fact, if you have glasses and food coloring at home you’re well on your way to scientific fun. Click through the gallery to peek at our favorite science experiments that require five supplies or less.

Invisible Licorice

Did the candy melt or disappear? Your sweetums might think it's magic, but it's really all about perspective and science.

You’ll Need:
Licorice, or other long, straight candy (alternative: a pencil or straw)
Tall, skinny drinking glass
Cooking oil, such as vegetable or olive oil

How To:
1. Pour some oil into the glass.

2. Put the candy stick into the glass. At the surface of the oil, does the candy look as if it has been cut in half?

3. Lean the candy stick against the side of the glass. (If the licorice doesn’t lay flat against the side, make a bend near the bottom of the stick to help hold it in place.)

4. Look at the side of the glass, and slowly turn it. Does the licorice get wider and narrower? Can you make it disappear?

What’s happening:
You’ve probably noticed how light bends in a glass of water. This is what makes things inside a glass of water look so distorted and strange. Oil bends light even more than water does. In fact, it can bend the light so much that, if you hold the glass the right way, a piece of candy nestled against the side of the glass is completely hidden from your eyes.

From Candy Experiments 2 by Loralee Leavitt/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC. You can find a copy of this sweet science book on Amazon for $11.57 here.



— Erin Lem


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