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Book review: 'Candy Experiments' uses candy to teach science and learning

By Wendy Jessen

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 9 2013 12:45 p.m. MST

"CANDY EXPERIMENTS," by Loralee Leavitt, Andrews McMeel Publishing, $14.99, 146 pages (nf) (ages 8-11)

Some may think pieces of candy are merely tasty treats, but as author Loralee Leavitt shows in a new book, those sugary items also have the power to teach kids about science and experimenting. Leavitt lays out easy-to-follow instructions in "Candy Experiments," showing how to perform tests on candy from Halloween, Valentine's Day or Easter.

Each candy experiment lists a time frame — ranging from five minutes up to a week — and a skill level. Some are labeled "easy" and can be done without supervision, while others are deemed "get a grown-up" when the test may be more difficult or possibly dangerous.

As if you were following a recipe, the book lists needed materials and step-by-step directions. These are easy to follow and use mostly common household items. Leavitt also has included colorful pictures that depict the expected outcomes for each experiment.

Activities include melting, sinking or floating, exploding, dissolving and smashing various candies, including M&M's, Skittles, taffies, Starbursts, Tootsie Rolls and chocolate. The book itself is very user-friendly, as experiments can be found under chapters or looked up in the index based on a specific candy or scientific concept, such as density, temperature or compression.

"Candy Experiments" is perfect for curious children of all ages, parents, homeschooling families or for teachers to use in the classroom. Another possible benefit of this book? Less candy consumption and more learning.

See www.candyexperiments.com for more information about the book and experiments.

If you go ...

What: Demonstration and Loralee Leavitt book signing

When: Saturday, Feb. 16, 2 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Wendy Jessen is a Southern Utah University graduate and a stay-at-home mother of six. Her email is wendyjessen26@gmail.com and she blogs at mormonmomofsix.blogspot.com.

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