Marshmallow Science Experiment

Table of contents for M is for Marshmallow

  1. Exploring Marshmallows with the Five Senses

The idea for this marshmallow science experiment came right from the kids. One of my favorite parts of being able to teach my little ones at home is that we can follow our interests and change our plans in an instant.

During our five senses activity the kids were so intrigued by how marshmallows felt when they got them wet. One of them said, “Can we put juice on them?”

So I asked, “What do you think will happen if we do?” And so began this little science experiment…

Marshmallow Experiment

First we checked the pantry and the fridge to pick out a couple of liquids to use. We decided to use cold water, hot (warm) water, cranberry juice, Sprite, and vinegar. Other than the hot water, any liquids would have worked. We just grabbed what we had on-hand.

Then we got some cups, marshmallows, and stirrers.

The kids counted out six marshmallows for each cup. I loved to see them do this part. They were both using a different strategy to keep track of how many they counted, and when one of them lost track they stopped to describe how they were keeping track. It was great to hear them explain their math thinking.

It is helpful to note that we didn’t sort the marshmallows by color for this activity. This is something that the kids noticed later on, and it led to yet another science investigation that I will share soon.

Marshmallow Preschool Activities

When we added a different liquid to each cup it didn’t take long for the kids to notice something different was happening to the marshmallows in the cup with hot water.

Marshmallow Experiment

Then we spent some time stirring the different cups to observe what was happening. It was interesting for me to watch how each child approached the activity. Lovey chattered away about every step she made and every new thing she observed. Big Buddy was intensely focused, and he observed silently. When I would ask him about what he was seeing he would say, “Not yet.” He watched for a very long time before describing his observations in detail.

Marshmallow Science

Marshmallow Activities

Lovey also wanted to see if the marshmallows felt the same as the ones from our original five senses activity.

Marshmallow Science

When she did so, she accidentally flipped the orange marshmallow from the cup with cold water into the cup with hot water. It took us a few seconds to get it out and return it back to the right cup. After it was back in the cold water cup, Lovey noticed something had happened. It was smaller than all of the others, and it stayed that way.

Marshmallow Science

This is how our cups looked at the end of our experiment. It was a fun way to explore liquids and how things dissolve.

Marshmallow Experiment

In the next post of this series I will share one of the marshmallow sensory activities we did. Even the baby enjoyed participating in that one!

Marshmallow Science Experiment...what happens to marshmallows in different liquids

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  1. Experiments that come straight from the kids are the best!

  2. As a former kindergarten teacher this is an awesome activity…
    Wonderful activity to start and keep interest in science. Little ones need to learn to observe and use their language to share observations and reasoning. What better way then to use marshmallows than learn and encourage language! How many march marshmallows did they eat while setting up their experiment? Math and science activities using foods capture young children’s attention and encourage time on task. (Don’t forget to allow for a marshmallow treat)

    • Thank you so much, Michele! I am also a former kindergarten teacher, and I couldn’t agree more with the importance and value of encouraging an interest in science from an early age. This experiment was part of a full week of marshmallow activities and learning, so the kids didn’t do too much extra tasting when it was time for this activity. We worked in special treats here and there, and the kids sampled a bit but they were really engaged. 🙂

  3. I can just imagine how incredibly popular that was……… 🙂 I love the differences between how they went about the experiment. My daughter would be the same as yours, talking up a storm.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

    • It was definitely popular! But you’re right…it really is neat to see how kids approach activities differently. 🙂

  4. Lovely experiment! Pinning to my kid science board. 🙂

  5. I love your marshmellow posts and look forward to trying these ideas with my 3 year old!

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