I recently saw an experiment on Fun With Little Learners that involved Starburst Jelly Beans and Sprite. It had me at Starburst. Although it took a few trips to the store before we could complete this activity due to polishing off a bottle of Sprite before we could get this under way, we finally did it before the Easter Egg Hunt at the gardens in town Saturday.
Step 1- Tell the 4 year old scientist we get to play with AND eat jelly beans. Takes no time to get him on board.
Step 2- Add 1 of each color jelly bean to a clear cup. You'll want to make sure it's a cup that's easy to see through and for little hands to hold.
Step 3- Add some Sprite to each cup. We used enough to fill about 1/4 of each cup.
Step 4- Wait. This is one of the harder parts. And since we were squeezing this in between the egg hunt and a friend's birthday party afterwards, we needed to pick up the pace a bit. So I let Augy stir the Sprite with his finger.
Step 5- After just a few minutes, the Sprite changes color. No big surprise. But then Augy tasted a bit of each dyed Sprite and realized it tasted "just like the jelly beans!" He was truly surprised by this part. He kept sipping the plain Sprite and then the dyed ones, noticing just how different they all tasted. He wasn't a big fan of the green flavor.
Now, as if all of this isn't cool enough-which it really was pretty neat the way it tasted-if we looked closely, we could see the word "Starburst" floating on the top of the Sprite. Super cool. I really got a kick out of this part.
We left the jelly beans soaking while we ran around town and then to the party to see what would happen. Augy also added more beans to each cup and learned that it makes the Sprite even darker in color. When we checked them again that night, they'd become striped. "They're zebra jelly beans now!" Augy said. Then he dug one out of the Sprite and popped it in his mouth before I could stop him.
"It's all squishy now. Hmmm. I like it better without the Sprite in it."
This experiment is totally worth the time and money for the results and the awe of creating different flavors and colors in a drink. However, I find that any experiment requiring Starburst Jelly Beans should be taken seriously. All in the name of science.