Science Experiments for Kids


Look-Alike Tests for Salt and Sugar
Tests show how salt and sugar act differently.
Tests show how salt and sugar act differently.
©2007, Publications International, Ltd.

Salt and sugar look alike, but they sure don't taste the same. Besides taste, how are they different? You can find out by performing several look-alike tests for salt and sugar. These science experiments for kids will show how the molecules in these two substances act differently under different conditions.

With adult supervision, kids can perform a melting test. On their own, they can do a dissolving test and a freezing test. Be sure the work surface is covered when you're doing these experiments.

What You'll Need:

  • Table covering
  • Smocks
  • Salt
  • Frying pan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Sugar
  • Clear plastic cups
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Ice cube tray

Melting Test (requires adult help)

Step 1: Place 1/2 teaspoon of salt on one side in a frying pan and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar on the other side. Tap down each pile so it is flattened.

Step 2: Heat the pan slowly for three minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat.

Step 3: Watch and see what happens to the different piles.

Dissolving Test

Step 1: Fill two glasses with 1/2 cup of water each.

Step 2: Add 2 teaspoons of salt to one glass and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the other glass.

Step 3: Add a different color of food coloring (1 drop) to each glass to distinguish the solutions from each other.

Step 4: Let the solutions stand for an hour, and then check for crystal formations. Crystals will form differently in each solution.

Freezing Test

Step 1: Fill two glasses with 1/2 cup of water each.

Step 2: Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the first and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the other.

Step 3: Color each solution a different color with a drop of food coloring.

Step 4: Pour one solution into the cups at one end of an ice cube tray and the other solution into the cups at the other end.

Step 5: Place the tray in the freezer for two hours.

Step 6: After two hours, check to see if the substances have reacted differently to the cold.

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