If your house is like mine, you still have some candy hanging around from Halloween. If you do, we have the perfect craft for you and your kids. You can build a model animal (eukaryotic) cell with candy.
What you need:
Assorted candies for the parts of the cell (organelles)
What you do:
- Set the jello. The Jello is for the cytoplasm, the liquid (mostly water) that fills the cell. You can make the jello and put it in a plastic or Styrofoam disposable plate to set. Think of the plate as the cell membrame, the ‘skin’ of the cell. Paper plates will get soggy, we know this from experience.
- Place assorted candies in the Jello to represent the organelles.
Tootsie rolls: these make great mitochondria. Mitochondria create energy in the cell. They look like boats and might be great for riding on if you ever find yourself shrunk into a cell.
Twizzlers, rainbow licorice, gummy worms or sour patch kids: Use any thin, tube-like candy to make the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER), a maze of tubes in the cell. Proteins go through and are modified (changed) and sorted. Be careful, you can get lost in there.
Jolly ranchers hard candy: : These hard candy work well for the centrioles, which are usually found in pairs at right angles to each other and get to work when the cell begins to divide (Mitosis). If you don’t have Jolly Ranchers, a short piece of twizzler, tootsie roll or any cylinder shaped candy will work fine.
Orange slice candy or any rectangular or curved candy: These make great Golgi, the post office of the cell where proteins are sorted and sent to different sections of the cell. This could be one way to find your way out of a cell, just make sure you don’t end up in a lysosome. They are deadly.
Gumballs: for the nucleus, the brain of the cell … only one of these, please.
Skittles, Nerds, M&M’s: sprinkle your cell with an assortment of colorful round candy to represent other organelles such as ribosomes (protein makers), lysosomes (which clean up waste in the cell), etc.
Be creative. You can use any candy that you have. Use an apple cut in half or pineapple slice for a healthier cell.
After the authors presented at one school, Jewel’s five year old son was so excited that he came home and made this cell out of candy, without any guidance. He was creative using an apple and gumball for the nucleus and nucleolus and shredded coconut for the microtubules.
After he proudly displayed it for his sisters, he promptly ate his cell. Mmmm….Mmmmm delicious!