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Looking for a science activity that will mesmerize kids (and grownups!) of all ages? Want to add a bit of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) into your day? Then this M&M science rainbow is just the activity you need!
Our family has done this activity so many times, and it never fails to impress me. It’s always hard for me to take my eyes off of the growing rainbow that forms. I hope you and your children will enjoy this activity as much as we do!
Note: Find more awesome science demonstrations on my Science Activities for Kids page!
To make an M&M science rainbow, you will need the following materials:
I started by putting some M&Ms onto a plate.
My kids arranged the M&Ms in a large circle at the outside edge of the plate.
It’s a bit hard to see in the picture below, but the next step is to gently add enough water to the middle of the plate until the water is touching all of the M&Ms. Be careful not to add the water too roughly or it will cause some of the M&Ms to move out of the circle.
Then just watch. Over the next few minutes, a beautiful rainbow will form right before your eyes!
To really get a sense of how cool this M&M science rainbow is, you need to see the video below!
What’s the science behind the M&M science rainbow?
The hard shell of the M&Ms is made with water soluble colors. When the water touches the M&Ms, the colors begin to dissolve off of the M&Ms and run into the water. Because of the shape of the plate and the positioning of the M&Ms, the colors have no where to go except into the middle of the plate, forming a beautiful rainbow as they do.
More science activities for kids
More science activities from Gift of Curiosity:
- Dancing raisins
- Candy experiments
- Jumping colors science activity
- Make your own glycerin soap
- Crystallized snowflakes
- Dissecting an apple
- What do ants like to eat?
- Make your own telescope
- The great baking soda and vinegar experiment
- Magic inflating balloons
Find more great science activities on my Science Activities for Kids page and my Science Activities Pinterest board.
Great ideas, thanks for sharing. I’m so glad I discovered your site..
Can paper plates be used?
I suppose it would depend on the quality of the paper plate how long it could have water sitting on it before falling apart.
I liked it , simple and easy , i used it for my little cousins !
Do you think Skittles could be used instead of M&Ms?
Most likely Skittles would work perfectly well for this activity. Give it a try!
do I need hot water or room temperature water?
Room temperature water will work just fine.
Have you tried this with just the primary colors? It would be cool to see if the blended colors make the secondary colors as well.
I have not tried it that way but it sounds like a great idea!
I just did this today with my daughter and she loved it! Thank you! We used the pastel colored M&Ms from Easter.
So glad you guys enjoyed this activity together!
It’s national M&M Day! I just shared this on my new blog with credit to you of course! Such a fun activity!
What size plate should be used? Is 5 inch okay?
I think just about any size will work. Just use what you have on hand and enjoy!