Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Candymaker's Gift - Candy Cane Activities

Elliott has been asking for more "activities."  Specifically, he is requesting more arts and crafts.  I'm not an artsy/crafty person, but I'm all for hands-on learning.  So if he needs more to hold his interest at the moment and fight the bad-weather blues, I'm going to give it to him.  I decided that for now, we'll try to do a few activities to go along with some of the books from our Christmas book basket.

The Candymaker's Gift: The Legend of the Candy Cane by David and Helen Haidel is a charming story about a candy maker who wants to create a special gift for his granddaughter.  He chooses to create a new candy, and throughout the story, it is shared what each aspect of the candy cane represents and how the candy cane can be used to share the best Christmas gift of all.

After we read the book, we did some of our own Candy Cane activities.

We did a little candy cane science experiment.  (Google this and you'll see several examples.)  I chose to keep it simple.  We used one bowl of cold water, on the right, and one bowl of hot water, on the left.  Each boy placed a mini candy cane in one of the bowls and we made predictions about what would happen.


Elliott thought the water would turn white and red like the candy cane.  Emory thought the candy cane would "break into lots of pieces!"  In a way, they were both partially right.  The cold water slowly turned pink.


The hot water quickly removed the red coloring.

We then watched as the candy cane in the hot water slowly dissolved and then "disappeared" which really excited the boys!

Of course we did a little taste test too.


Arts and Crafts
We also made the very easy candy cane ornament from chenille sticks.  Emory just thought this was hilarious for some reason, and the boys added them to their personal tree.


Marble Painted Candy Cane Collage
Elliott made a marble painted candy cane craft last year, but we haven't done marble paintings since then, and I don't know why, because they are a lot of fun for the boys, and you get a unique result every time.  So when the boys asked to paint a candy cane shortly before bed, I knew that it would be a quick and easy activity.

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Elliott insisted on doing a red and green one too, since not all candy canes are just red/white.
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Hulk just asked for a red and green one.
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We let them dry overnight, and then we cut out a large candy cane.  Then, to use the scrap paper, we cut out several small candy canes too.  They chose to glue them on red construction paper.

Elliott mixed his red ones and his red/green ones into one collage.
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Emory is really just getting interested in participating in arts/crafts, and he really enjoyed this.
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We also played CANDY LAND, because what mini-unit on candy would be complete with out?  It's also good practice for Emory , as far as taking turns and general board game rules.

Overall, they enjoyed it, and they got new ornaments and fridge art out of it too.


  1. What fun activities! Stopping by from the TOS blog linky. I'm your newest follower.


  2. I love your science and craft idea! Making predictions was a great idea!

    I will be sharing this post on Read.Explore.Learn. on Monday.