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DNA in a YUMMY way

Hello Friends!

We've been learning about DNA and wow... talk about learning along with your kiddos! As I was explaining the structure of DNA and its functions, I began drawing it.. or trying to draw it. I thought I did a pretty good job until my neuroscience friend came over one day and asked me why my DNA had "those things" on it. What??!!! I drew it completely wrong.. and worse, I taught it wrong to my kids. Sheesh!  Well after a quick lesson from my dear friend, I was able to correct my drawing and teach my kids the RIGHT DNA. lol.

Since my candy animal cell was such a hit with my kids, I decided to make a candy model of  DNA. And since I'm such a visual learner,  this project was just as much for me as it was for my little ones.

Here are the materials I used:

Sour punch - sugar phosphate backbone
Nerds - nucleotides
Mike and Ikes- base pairs (AT, GC)
Frosting - to "glue" the nucleotides to the sugar phosphate backbone

I cut the Mike and Ikes in half so that they could represent each base pair.

I had each of kids pick a 2 different colors that would represent a base pair (A and T). Then they stuck them together. The inside of Mike and Ikes are a bit sticky so they stuck well. Then they took another 2 colors and stuck them together. That represented the other base pair (G and C).

Note:  A can only be paired with T and G can only be paired with C. They can go in any order (G,C or C,G) but they MUST be paired together. They are like a puzzle piece that will only fit for those pairs.

They began building their DNA with the sour strips, making them twist to create the double helix.  We used frosting as "glue" to stick the nerds on. It was a bit messy, I must admit. The easiest way I found to make the nerds stick was to put the frosting on the strips and then roll them into the nerds.

Our finished product. Wow.. this makes my teeth hurt.

Then, for the moment my kids have been waiting for (drum roll please)...

I turned away in disgust as I practically began making a check out to their dentist....




And just like that. The storm has passed. 

The good thing? My kids and I both know the structure of  DNA (even my littlest little in kinder).

The bad thing? Well, I let you know at their next dental cleaning.

Have a great day friends!



  1. OMG what a cute idea! I am a biochemist and a mom, I love love love this!!


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