Candy Chromatography

Our Valentine activities wouldn’t be complete without a little candy chromatography! Even if this isn’t a super scientific way of checking out the colors in candy shells, it’s loaded with science exploration. The diffusion hearts and heart pipettes were provided by Roylco. Use our affiliate code TINYN3RDS for 15% off at

Chromatography is the process of separating a mixture; in this case our mixture is the candy shell color. Brown M&Ms showed the best color separation although it's difficult to see in the picture. But mostly, the kids just wanted to put as many candies on the diffusion paper as possible.

Supplies & Instructions

Color diffusing hearts

Heart pipettes

Hard shell candy (M&Ms and Skittles work best)



Place the candy on the diffusion paper then slowly apply water to the tops of each candy. The diffusion paper will do the rest. Ideally you should only use one color of candy to test the colors of the candy shell, but my kids really just wanted a rainbow.

Preschool Prompts

What color(s) do you think the chromatography will reveal (Note: brown M&Ms will show more than one color)? Which candy provided the brightest color? What do you think that means? How can we test your hypothesis? What other candy can we test? What do you think will happen if we add more water?

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