A colorful experiment

The famous M&M’s, Sparkies or Skittles are colorful candies with a sugar coating. For many they are simply delicious, but for others, they are the perfect material for a good experiment. Despite being an easy and simple activity, through it you will learn the scientific concepts known as solubility and diffusion. So get to work!

You will need the following materials:

✔ A plate (preferably white)
✔ Sugar-coated candies (such as Sparkies or M&M’s)
✔ Water


Arrange the candies on the edge of the plate. You can order them creating the colors of the rainbow, different patterns or according to the order you prefer. Then, pour water in the center of the plate until the caramels are half covered. If these move, snap them back into place quickly. Wait a few seconds and watch carefully what happens.


Did you notice what happened to the colors of the candies? These began to melt until they reached the center of the plate creating a rainbow of colors. This happens because the candies in this experiment are covered with a layer of sugar and dyes. When you pour water on them, the food coloring and sugar dissolve and spread throughout the water, this process is known as solubility.

Also, the colors did not mix initially when dissolved with the water. This is because each candy contains the same amount of sugar and food coloring, even though the colors are different. Eventually, the food coloring will separate from the sugar to diffuse and the entire dish will turn into a cloudy brown mixture, which is known as the phenomenon of diffusion.

Variations: This experiment offers you many research opportunities. Try using different temperatures of water, or using other liquids like white vinegar, milk, or lemon juice to find out what happens.