Homemade Rock Candy
Help your kid make edible rocks
- A wide-mouthed jar:Pull last night's spaghetti sauce jar out of recycling and clean it out really well.
- A pencil
- Measuring cups
- Boiling water:Enough to fill your jar about half way.
- White table sugar:About twice as much as the water, plus a little extra. (So if it takes 3 cups of water to fill the jar half way, you'll need at least 6 cups of sugar.)
- A paper plate
- Food coloring:Optional, but as a general rule of thumb, the brighter the candy, the more kids like it.
- Boil the water, making sure to keep the hot water away from your kids.
- Tie one end of your string to the pencil. Loop the string around and tie it again so that you have a loop hanging about 6 inches down from the pencil. Trim off any excess string.
- Sprinkle a little sugar on a paper plate. Then have your kid wet the string and roll it in the sugar to coat it. Set it aside to dry.
- Next, get out a measuring cup and carefully fill your jar ¾ full with boiling water, measuring how much you're putting in as you go. This is a grown-up step so make sure the kids stand back.
- If your kids want colored rock candy, have them add a few drops of food coloring to the water.
- Next, have the kids carefully add 2 cups of sugar for every cup of water that you have in the jar.
- Stir well until the sugar dissolves. The water should get cloudy and have a thin layer of undissolved sugar floating on the bottom. If there's no sugar on the bottom, add more until there is.
- When the sugar-coated string is dry, have your kid carefully lower the dangling loop of string into the water. Place the pencil across the top of the jar to keep the string from falling in.
- Put the jar on the counter (far away from greedy little Veruca) and leave it alone for a few days.
- After two or three days, you should notice small crystals growing on your string. A few more days to "cook" and the crystals will grow large enough to eat.
- After the candy has grown large enough to meet your kids' specifications, pull it out of the water and let it dry on some paper towels.
- When it's dry, let the kids dig in (and be prepared for the sugar high to follow).