When I went to Girl Scout camp as a child, we did a peppermint ‘straw’ activity that impressed me so much that I begged my parents to buy peppermint sticks when I returned. They gave in and let me replicate the experiment again and again at home. I looked forward to trying it with our kids and we had so much fun! I had to do it too and relive the experience.
Make a Peppermint Stick Straw (and Sip Fresh Orange Juice!)
You will need:
- One orange per person (We used the mini Cutie oranges but you can use full size oranges too as I did in scouting).
- One peppermint stick or candy cane per person (We tried both and the peppermint sticks are more robust but both work). If you are picking up supplies for this, I recommend the peppermint sticks (which I found at our local CVS pharmacy).
Have the children squeeze the oranges in their hands to release the juices. Then, if you are using candy canes, break off the cane part and use a shorter straight part. The long one works too but it takes longer. Insert the peppermint stick or broken candy cane into the orange. Have the kids use the power of suction to allow the porous candy cane to become a straw. It takes a few minutes and some concentration but is worth it. This is the look that all of our kids had on their faces during the process followed by big smiles when they had success. If you try this with your children or students, please share photos on the Capri + 3 Facebook page. I am curious to see if our sample of four is typical with the look of concentration.
MORE Winter STEM Ideas from the Early Childhood Education Team:
Snowball Catapult Alphabet Activity by Mom Inspired Life
Winter STEM Activity – Build a Snowflake by Fun-A-Day
Winter Inspired Tinker Tray by Still Playing School
Winter STEM for Preschool: Evergreen Tree Construction Challenge by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Gingerbread House Construction Ideas by The Educators’ Spin On IT
I bet the kids think this is magical. What a fun treat!