How to make Sugar Crystals on a Stick?

BY ON Jan 7, 2015
dubai getaway

dubai tourism platinum heritage bloggerati australia 1001 events

 Raffles Dubai - Yum!

How to make Sugar Crystals is an activity that was inspired by afternoon tea at Raffles in Dubai.  The moment our wonderful tour host Xavier from 1001 events pulled up in front of Raffles Hotel, I knew that afternoon tea was going to be something special and it was!  All the food was a piece of art, from savoury finger food such as these delightful tarts and breads shown in the first photo to Mrs. Santa’s High Heel white chocolate shoe shown in the photo on the right.  It was an amazing experience!

How to make sugar crystals on a stick

It was these gorgeous sugar crystals swivel sticks (photo above) that caught my eye at the afternoon tea at Raffles and thought would be a fabulous activity that the kids and I can do together when I returned home from Dubai.  It is a great opportunity for kids to learn how different substances change when heated, cooled and mixed with other substances.

How to make sugar crystals on a stick - learning 4 Kids

Making Sugar Crystals on a Stick are simple to make and the kids will enjoy eating the finished product.  Kids will be amazed to watch as the sugar crystals grow and increase in size over 2 to 3 days.


Full parental supervision is required with this activity as it involves hot liquids.


What you will need?

how to make sugar crystals - what you will need


2 Cups Water

6 Cups White Sugar

Food Colouring

Extra ¼ Cup White Sugar


You will also need a saucepan, wooden spoon, measuring cups, pegs (optional) and glasses (or jars) for growing the sugar crystals.  We grew our sugar crystals on wooden sticks that we purchased from a party accessories store; you could alternatively use pipe cleaners, bamboo skewers or straws.


Step 1

how to make sugar crystals rock candy on a stick - learning 4 kids

Setting up:

  • We made 4 different coloured sugar crystals and set up 4 glasses, one for each colour. In each jar I placed 5 drops of food colouring, red, yellow, green and blue.
  • The wooden sticks need to be set up on the glass so that the sticks do not touch the bottom or sides of the glass. This allows room for the sugar crystals to grow. We used pegs to clip onto the wooden sticks and balance them on the rim of the glass so the stick is straight up and down the middle of the glass.


Step 2

 making sugar syrup for rock candy


  •  Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar.
  • Stir constantly for about 1 min as it boils, then turn off heat.


Step 3

 how to make sugar crystals rock candy on a stick


  • Using a heat proof jug, pour sugar syrup equally into each glass and stir to combine food colouring with a metal fork. The sugar syrup is very hot, please be careful.
  • Allow the sugar syrup to cool for about half an hour in the glasses before placing the wooden sticks into the liquid.


Step 4

how to make swivel sticks rock sugar


  • Wet the wooden stick by dipping it into the sugar syrup and then roll the wet wooden stick into the dry white sugar. The dry sugar will help the sugar crystals attach and grow onto the wooden stick.
  • Place the sugar coated wooden stick into the sugar syrup in the glass, making sure that it is not touching the bottom or sides of the glass.
  • Set aside and watch the sugar crystals grow for 2 to 3 days.


Step 5

How to make sugar candy on a stick


  • On day 3, take the sugar crystals on a stick out of the sugar syrup, allowing the liquid to run and drip off before placing them onto a paper towel to dry.


Step 6

How to make sugar crystals on a stick


  • We took our sugar crystal sticks out of the sugar syrup after 3 days and allowed them to dry on a paper towel before eating them.


What the kids can do?

howto make swivel sticks

When doing activities with kids that involves hot liquids, it is very important that safety precautions are taken at all times.  Even though there are some steps in the process of making Sugar Crystals on a Stick that should be only completed by an adult, there is still so much that kids can do to be more involved in this activity.

Here are a few ideas for involving the kids:

  • Measure the sugar and water, and pour it into the saucepan.
  • Count the number of drops of food colouring when putting it into the glass.
  • Place the pegs onto the wooden sticks.
  • Dip the wooden sticks into the cooled sugar syrup and coat them with uncooked white sugar.
  • Take the Sugar Crystals on a Stick out of the sugar syrup and place them on the paper towel.
  • Observe and talk about the changes that are taking place to the sugar syrup over the 3 days.


dubai getaway

dubai tourism platinum heritage bloggerati australia 1001 events
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16 Responses to “How to make Sugar Crystals on a Stick?”

  1. […] a sugar crystal swizzle stick! If you want to know how to make them, you can learn to do it over on Learning4Kids as Janice shows you how and I’m planning on doing it with my kids in the school […]

  2. Penny says:

    Yours turned out brilliant! I did some blue ones for a frozen party and although they turned out okay, they were a bit time consuming. I think I might try your process. Plus it’s way better to do it for science because if something does go wrong you can question what did!

  3. cátia sofia says:

    comam vegetais seus catraios

  4. Amanda says:

    Can u add candy flavoring to this to make different flavors?

  5. Lesly says:

    When I’m ready to add the wooden sticks into the sugar syrup do I need put them in the fridge or just let them out on room temp ?

  6. Natasha G says:

    Just wondering if the sugar syrup is reusable? Once we make our first set of sugar crystal sticks, can we use the same syrup and make more sticks?

  7. Chiara says:

    Hi, great recipe. I was just wondering whether you can reuse the leftover sugar syrup to make more?

  8. […] big thank you to where I found the original recipe that I doubled and based this post […]

  9. […] of thing.  It will be fun to have them help pick out some cool things to do.   I know I want to grow some crystals.  They’ll love […]

  10. mykeesha says:

    im trying this out, n i seems to be working!!!!! yaaaaaaa!!!!!!☺😀 cant wait till i can eat them n share them with my family!!

  11. Lobster says:

    I hope they work and I can put them in my tea!

  12. Marcia says:

    I did not see a reply about putting it in the refrigerator, but I’m thinking that would not work. Growing crystals takes time. Cooling rapidly would not allow time for the crystals to grow. That would be a good experiment— to compare the two variables, rapid vs slow cooled.

  13. Alo says:

    I love the recipe. And just so other people know, if you don’t have one of those sticks you can use string instead. Just tie it around a pencil.

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