Grow Rock Candy

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
Learners grow sugar crystals (rock candy). They make a hot solution that has an excess of sugar dissolved in it, then as the solution cools, they see sugar crystals form. Learners can use food coloring to grow crystals of different colors and can reuse their rock candy as a seed crystal to make larger sugar crystals. This resource contains background information about different crystal structures and properties. This activity requires adult supervision.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
4 to 24 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 pencil
  • 1 large paper clip
  • tall, narrow glass
  • 1 piece of non-colored string (about 2 inches longer than the height of your glass)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • stovetop or burner
  • clock or timer
  • food coloring


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • taste
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Ology


  • All rights reserved, American Museum of Natural History,