JYNX'S ADVENTURES IN CHEMISTRY #1:

"Please Don't Eat the Electrons" : Valence Electrons and Electron Shells

First we set up our "equipment" like the instructions say. Index cards with the symbols for the first 18 elements, with a circle around them to represent their outermost quantum shell. Colored candy, in this case Skittles, sorted by color.
Jynx: Ooh, candy!
No, SCIENCE!

Jynx: Lookit, I found a mutant one . . .
See, that's exactly what we're trying to model. Well, sort of. But if you think of each of those Skittles as an atom of a different element, they bond together by sharing . . . well, Skittle filling to form a molecule.

Jynx: I thought the Skittles were electrons.
Yes, they are representing electrons; but this time we're thinking of them as atoms.
Jynx: Oh. Can I eat them now?
No.

Jynx: Ooh, pretty. Taste the rainbow!
Taste the valence electrons!
Jynx: Does that mean I can eat them now? :D
No! PLEASE don't eat the electrons. Not until we're done. Now we have to represent all the electrons of of the first 12 elements, so we have to draw some more circles on to represent the other shells, and then reposition the Skittles.

Jynx: Come on, carbon wouldn't miss ONE electron . . . it'd still have five.
You can't take any of its electrons; you'd have to give some up, first.
Jynx: Aww.

Jynx: NOW can I eat the electrons? Or at least the molecule?
Not yet, I'm taking a picture.

Okay, NOW you can eat the electrons, since you were such a good helper.
Jynx: Mm . . . electrons. Science is yummy!