Jack Be Nimble Science Activity

I’ve always had a soft spot for nursery rhymes.

My girls grew up with them. We read tons of nursery rhyme books, did a lot of crafts, and now we’re going to do some nursery rhyme science experiments.

We experimented with candles for this Jack Be Nimble Science activity. It was so much fun!

Explore how fire needs oxygen to burn with this simple Jack Be Nimble science activity for kids. How long will Jack's candle burn?

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But first, a word of caution

This science experiment uses fire. Please use caution and make sure there is an adult helper every step of the way.

Gather your supplies

You’ll need the following supplies:

2 tealights

2 candle-safe saucers or candle holders (we used the saucers from our dishes set)

Lighter

Drinking glass (choose a clear glass one so you can see the candle underneath)

Timer

Explore how fire needs oxygen to burn with this simple Jack Be Nimble science activity for kids. How long will Jack's candle burn?

Set up your Jack Be Nimble science activity

Set a tea light on each saucer and place them side by side. Make sure there is enough room to put the glass over one of your candles.

Prepare your timer. We used the timer app on my phone.

Finally, light both of your candles.

Everything needs to be set up before you start this experiment.

Make your predictions

What will happen if you put the drinking glass over one of the candles? Which candle is going to stay lit the longest? How much longer do you think it will be?

Take the time to discuss with your kids about what they think will happen during this experiment.

Explore how fire needs oxygen to burn with this simple Jack Be Nimble science activity for kids. How long will Jack's candle burn?

It’s time to experiment

This experiment moves fast, so be ready!

Place your drinking glass over one of your lit candles. Start your time as soon as you set your glass over the candle.

Hint: Use both hands! Hold the glass with one hand and start the time with the other.

Keep a watch on the candles. As soon as one candle goes out, stop the timer.

Which candle stayed lit the longest? How long did it take to go out?

Explore how fire needs oxygen to burn with this simple Jack Be Nimble science activity for kids. How long will Jack's candle burn?

The science behind this experiment

Fire needs two things to burn: oxygen and fuel. If you take one of these away, your fire will burn out. When we placed the drinking glass over our candle, we reduced the amount of oxygen. It didn’t take long for our fire to use up that bit of oxygen. Our candle burned out in under six seconds! Our second candle had a constant supply of oxygen, so it stayed lit until we blew it out.

What was the result of your experiment? How long did your candle underneath the glass stay lit?

Explore how fire needs oxygen to burn with this simple Jack Be Nimble science activity for kids. How long will Jack's candle burn?

If you enjoyed this Jack Be Nimble science activity, the above photo is perfect for sharing on Facebook or you can save the picture below on Pinterest.

Explore how fire needs oxygen to burn with this simple Jack Be Nimble science activity for kids. How long will Jack's candle burn?

You may also like one of these science experiments:

Making Butter – Little House Inspired Science

Fun Kitchen Science Experiments

Chemical Reactions with Pennies at Creative Family Fun

Humpty Dumpty Science Experiments at Science Sparks


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Terri is a writer and mom of two elementary-aged girls. She has a passion for learning and is always looking for ways to make learning fun. You can find her here writing about fun learning activities, art, craft, and family fun ideas.

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