Peeps are a fun, fluffy, terrible-for-you treat that I avoid buying because I find them addictive. Emma was recently given a bunch of them, so we decided to experiment with them instead of eating them! There are a lot of fun Peep experiments out there. This edible peep sensory dough was new to us, and the kids think it is awesome! Our peeps happened to all be white; this experiment would be even better with rainbow colored peeps!
Fun Peep Experiments: Making Edible Peep Sensory Dough
We got the idea for this activity out of the book, The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments, which we were sent to review. This book is full of simple, highly engaging science experiments for kids. Most of the experiments use materials that you will have in your home, making this book a fabulous rainy day resource for families. As a science geek, most of the experiments were ones I had either done or heard of in the past, but I still see value in having them collected in the book. For example, I had heard of using peeps to make play dough, but I hadn’t ever actually done it, or taken the time to look it up for more details. There were also a few that were new to me. All of the experiments are clearly explained, and most of them include photos. Each experiment includes a science question. I recommend reading this question out loud to your kids and brainstorming answers and experiments together before trying the experiment in the book.
This peeps activity is included in the book as a way of exploring the way the space between molecules expands and contracts. You microwave the marshmallows and watch them expand in the heat of the microwave. You then use the melted peeps to make play dough.
Peep Play Dough
We didn’t follow the instructions in the book exactly. The recipe in the book calls for powdered sugar. We didn’t have any in the house, and I felt like peeps are sweet enough anyhow. I decided to add another dimension to the experiment by testing two different powdered sugar substitutes: corn starch and tapioca flour. I predicted that the corn starch would be stretchier, and this was true! If you look at the photos above, Lily is stretching out the version with corn starch, and Johnny is stretching the version made using tapioca starch. Both versions also have a little bit of melted butter in them, as recommended in the book. The kids liked the feel of the tapioca flour peep play dough better, but they preferred the flavor of the corn starch peep play dough.
One other discovery we made by doing this experiment is that the peep eyes do not melt! In fact, they appear to be insoluble! They would pop out of the dough from time to time, sort of like the googley eyes we like to mix into our play dough. Can you spot two in the photo above?
What are your favorite simple science experiments? Do you have any fun peep experiments for us to try?