The kids love to eat jelly in just about every flavour. They like to slurp it up, and squish it between their teeth, and unfortunately, drop it on the floor. So I wondered if they would also like to play with it. I was going to just make up a batch of jelly that they could stick their hands into, but then I saw a ‘Jello Excavation’ at Tinkerlab, and thought that would be even more fun.
So I made up two packs of lime jelly and as it cooled I dropped little plastic bugs and critters into it. I think I might have added too much water though, as the jelly was a bit soft. Then again, it was Coles brand, and I normally use Aeroplane jelly, so maybe it was meant to be like that.
Being a little wobblier than normal made it harder to get it out of the bowl in one piece, despite the spray oil I’d used in the bowl, but most of it came out intact. I placed it in a tub and put it outside for the kids to play with. I’m very glad it was an outdoors activity as, predictably, A got into the tub with the jelly before they were finished. She said it was to feel it squish between her toes. She likes to feel all of our messy and sensory play things with her feet… maybe she just likes to be extra messy :)
They used various implements to pull the critters out, and play in the jelly. They added in some pretend play too, making up gross critter food orders, such as bug soup with a side of slug slime and a snake milkshake. The jelly got thoroughly churned with a whisk, and was pushed through a sieve, put into cups and funnels, and spooned into the watering can, along with most of the critters. No one tried to eat the jelly, which surprised me.
It was very messy, but very fun.
I found an old tin of edible gelatin in the cupboard this morning, so I think I will use that for our next jelly play. I will make it firmer so that the kids can cut it into chunks and really excavate the bugs and critters, maybe with some spoons as digging implements. Looking forward to another chance to have a jelly dig in the backyard.