Apr 28, 2013

Science with Kids: Jelly Taste Test

Here's a fun activity that is cheap and easy to do, and the only call on your planning skills is to make the jelly ahead of time.

My kids know I love a few things that I'm often trying to foist on them: drawing, reading, walking, sky watching and science (whenever something is fun or interesting I point out how it relates to art, science or maths - in a probably vain attempt to avoid them thinking these subjects are too hard or too boring when it's time for them to choose electives in high school).

So I presented this as a fun thing and an interesting thing: "I wonder if we'll be able to tell what flavour is what? Gee, it's kind of like an Inquiry [school science] activity, huh?"

The Jelly Taste Test

Hypothesis: that we wouldn't be able to distinguish all the flavours blindfolded.

Test method: blindfolded taste test

  • children
  • jelly made up in various flavours, in separate containers
  • blindfold 
  • spoon(s)

  • I chose 4 flavours that were very different to each other, to make some of the guessing easy. But you could devilishly try blueberry and bubblegum (blue and blue), or raspberry, strawberry and port wine (red, red, red), or lemon and pineapple (yellow and yellow).

Beware of:
  • attempts to peek, grumpiness at failing to guess correctly

Pretty much as you'd expect:

We first did this about 6 months ago and the kids loved it, and last week they requested it again.

This time I let them each choose 2 flavours of jelly crystals and made up the jelly one colour at a time, pouring each one into 2 jam jars, before rinsing the mixing bowl and starting the next one.

We got through the first round pretty quickly, and found the same results we had last time: citrus flavours and lighter colours are easier to distinguish than reds and blues.

We added a second difficulty level: two colours per bite.

Then a third: three colours. This was impossible.

When we'd exhausted all taste test possibilities, we overlapped colours on the spoons and examined the  new colours produced.

Jelly is so pretty!

After that, the kids just got stuck into eating the rest of the jelly.

Yeah science!!


  1. I think that even adults would have fun with this game.

    ....but with different flavours of mousses/custards it'd be even funner - eg chocolate, salted caramel, rum, lime, vanilla......

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