Sweetly Balanced Equations

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this (edible) activity, learners balance chemical equations using different kinds and colors of candy that represent different atoms. Learners will work in pairs and explore conservation of atoms. One partner will use his/her candy to simulate the reactant (left) side of the equation and the other partner will use his/her candy to simulate the product (right) side.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • miniature marshmallows
  • m&m's
  • Red Vine pieces (red)
  • Red Vine pieces (black)
  • Hershey's Kisses
  • small square of paper with = printed on it
  • 2 small squares of paper with + printed on them
  • clean paper napkin
  • clean piece of copier paper


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elements and Periodic Table
      • Mass and Weight

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Rathjen, Don


  • All rights reserved, Exploratorium, 2003