Sugar crystal lollipops
If there is anything that makes my kids happy it is sugar. So this experiment was a hit as soon as I told them sugar was involved!
This one is another crystal making experiment - this time using a supersaturated solution of sugar. By using a stick which you have coated with sugar, you provide the perfect nucleation site for crystals to form, and end up with a long stick covered in large-ish crystals. They look pretty special, and are fun to eat! Definitely something to brighten a lockdown afternoon.
To make your own sugar crystal lollipops you will need:
Sugar (normal white sugar is fine)
Skewers or wooden sticks (we unraveled one of our sushi rolling mats and took a few off the end! Nothing like avoiding the shops to make you creative...)
A few jars or glasses
Some clothes pegs
Step 1: Dissolve sugar in boiling water. You need to make a saturated solution of sugar, which means you need about 3.5 cups of sugar per cup of water. Water can hold A LOT of sugar! Make as much of the solution as you would like - work out how many lollipops you want and the capacity of the jars you will be using.
Step 2: Prepare the skewers. Snip the sharp ends off so they don't poke little hands, then dip one end into the sugar solution. Roll the dipped end in some sugar, so that they are coated in it, and leave them to dry. The need to be completely dry for it to work.
Step 3: Pop a few drops of food colouring into each jar.
Step 4: Fill the jars mostly full with the sugar solution.
Step 5: Suspend the sugar coated ends of the skewers into the sugar solution, holding them in the middle of the liquid using clothes pegs as shown. You need to make sure that the skewer isn't touching the bottom of the jar, or any of the sides.
Step 6: Wait and watch! The sugar crystals are fairly slow growing, so it will take at least 4 days or so to have a nice thick lollipop of crystals. Leave them for up to a week. Once you're happy with their size take them out of the solution and let them drain and dry on some paper towel.
Step 7: Enjoy!