Did you know have any idea there are so many creative ways to play and learn with marshmallows? The idea for this marshmallow science experiment came right from the kids. One of my favorite parts of teaching preschoolers is the enthusiasm and curiosity the bring to our activities. I try to remember to let them take the lead so we can follow their interests.
During our marshmallow 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 simple marshmallow science experiment…
Marshmallow Science Experiment for Preschool and Kindergarten
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. If you’re in a classroom setting, see what you can get donated and go with that.
Then we got some cups, rainbow mini 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.
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.
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. One child chattered away about every step she made and every new thing she observed.
Meanwhile the other child 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.
Sometimes it is important to remember to give children the space to observe and make their own conclusions before we discuss what is happening. In the classroom I like to do science experiments in small groups when possible so we can have deeper discussions and I can observe each child’s approach to the activity.
One child also wanted to see if the marshmallows felt the same as the ones from our original five senses activity.
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, she noticed something had happened. It was smaller than all of the others, and it stayed that way.
This is how our cups looked at the end of our experiment. It was a fun way to explore liquids and how things dissolve.
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!