Let’s Make Rock Candy

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It is simple and fun to make rock candy. It can be a really sweet science experience.  You need  a jar, a pencil, and some string. A jar for each child would be best so use the small ones. You will be able to watch your candy crystals grow over a few days and then eat the results.

Preparation. Cut a piece of kitchen twine a few inches longer than the jar. Tie one end to the pencil. Fasten a paper clip to the other end so that it hangs well. Test to make sure the string reaches within an inch or two from the bottom of the jar by placing the pencil over the top.

Got it right? Wet the string and roll in sugar until completely coated. This is the material that the crystals need to grow on. You can also prepare wooden skewers and use them instead of string. You will add this last.

Recipe. Now you are ready to make the recipe. Caution: You need boiling water so let an adult handle that part, or closely supervise an older child.

You need two cups of water, four cups of sugar, flavors, and food colors if desired. It might be interesting to make each child’s candy a different color. You can double or triple the recipe. Yes, it is a lot of sugar but you will not be making it very often.

Making the recipe. Boil the water in a medium pan. Add a cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Keep adding sugar and stirring until each cup is dissolved completely. Take off the heat. Now, add your flavoring or extracts and the food coloring.

Let this mixture cool for around 10 minutes and carefully pour into the jars. Carefully drop in the sugar coated string or skewer so the string is down the middle. Use clothespins to fasten a skewer.

Cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap or a paper towel. Keep it in a cool spot without harsh lighting. That is when the fun begins and your crystal treat starts growing. If it does not, reboil the syrup and try again.

Waiting and watching. In two to four hours, you should see crystals start to form on the string. Watch them grow over the next few days. Remove the string when it is the size you want. If you let it grow too long, it will start to coat the bottom and sides of the jar. Let it sit for a few minutes and enjoy.

The kids will remember this for a long time. If you are lucky, they might let you pull a bit of candy for yourself from the string.


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