Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Rock Candy!

We've really been enjoying watching the Frozen Planet series on BBC iplayer as a family on Sunday afternoon's. Lychee pretty much sleeps through it, but Cosmo is fascinated. So much so that the other week he clicked 'more like this' and found 'The Secret Life of Ice' and begged to be allowed to watch. It looked educational so I figured 'why not'? In fact, it looked a little too educational. I didn't think he'd last more than a few minutes.

I was wrong.

Not only did we end up watching the entire episode, he asked LOADS of relevant questions. I was amazed. The bit he found most amazing was how ice crystals formed under pressure (hot ice) and how supercooled water could form crystals instantly. In fact he though crystals in general were amazing and so we decided to look at them a bit more closely.

We made Rock Candy lollies.

If you want to have a go, the basic instructions are here. We made it a bit more exciting by doing jars with different coloured food dyes and flavourings in them, and put them in our boiler room to speed up the process. The most interesting part was that some of the colours/flavourings behaved differently and the crystals came out all different shapes and sizes, so we were able to talk about large crystals forming more slowly than small crystals etc...

I'd really encourage you to have a go with this experiment. It was great fun. Even a three year old (properly supervised with the hob) is able to carefully measure out the correct amounts of the ingredients and stir until they are completely dissolved.

I wish we'd taken photos, but we didn't, so here are some I stole from google, but they look pretty much the same.


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