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At one point when S was a toddler and had been very sick, we fed her some Jello.  After she'd recovered, she was very interested in playing in it.  We tried that out, and it was a lot of fun, but it was SO sticky because of the sugar content that I wanted to find a better way.  So I decided to make her just plain unflavored gelatin to play in.  I hid things inside to dig out and that's how our gelatin play evolved. 


 Plain gelatin doesn't leave that sugary residue that Jello does, but it really does not smell pleasant (in my opinion), so I thought this time I'd add some Duncan Hines Frosting Creations .  I added just a little of the Cotton Candy flavor, since it was the only blue one I could find, and it actually made it really beautiful.  I don't know if the pictures do it justice, but it just glowed.  It was really neat.  It also smelled pretty.  :)  If you don't want to spend the extra money on the Frosting Creations, you can do just plain gelatin, or you can do food coloring or liquid watercolors.

Ingredients for gelatin play:

(Optional:  Food Coloring/Liquid Watercolors (What are Liquid Watercolors?)/Frosting Creations Packet)


Helping me stir to dissolve the gelatin.  I'd found these cute little fish for S at a second hand store this past weekend and knew they'd look cute in little blue gelatin oceans.


After refrigerating overnight, they were ready to go!


I just used little Solo cups for the molds, but they are a little hard to get out.  I suspect a silicone mold would work better.  This was X's first experience with gelatin.  He was a little weirded out at first, so sis showed him the ropes.


After that, he was ready to dive in!


He had so much fun watching her play.  She was making "gelatin clouds" that were raining.


Showing him a big chunk of it.


S was putting pieces on her feet and squealing.  "Mama, it's cold and MUSH-ITY!"


Always so proud to be able to play with "big kid stuff".


It was SO pretty with the Frosting Creations added!


Always interested in the full body experience, S needed to get hands AND feet involved in the play.


The picture below is from another gelatin playtime, I think before X was born.  Here we've added red food coloring, glitter, and some plastic animals that S selected.


And another gelatin playtime, probably around 18 months.  That time I did just clear gelatin with colored buttons and sequins "buried" inside.


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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.


Comments

  1. Wonderful idea! I can't wait to try this!

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    1. Thank you, Amber! Your girls are adorable and your photography is beautiful! I hope they enjoy it. :)

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    2. Instead of using the Frosting Creations Packet - Have you ever tried using a packet of plain Kool-Aid drink mix powder (or store brand drink mix) the kind you add sugar to? I have used those to color & flavor icing for years now, I've even added one packet when baking a white cake mix.(My granddaughter's favorite is grape/purple) You get the scent & flavor without the added sugar.

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    3. Yes, that is totally a great idea! We haven't yet added it to gelatin, but we've added it to tons else! I think we'll have to give it a go next time!!!!

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    4. buttons would be a choking hazard for under threes.

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    5. Absolutely. My children do not mouth things and are closely supervised, but buttons and sequins will not be appropriate for all children.

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  2. This is really really wonderful! I should try this with my little boy! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for checking it out! Hope he (and you) have as much fun with it as we do!

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  3. Great Ideas! I am going to try this - it's always nice to find activities that work for a baby who likes to put everything in her mouth! Did you put the figures in before the gelatin set?

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    1. Thanks! I did. If you look up in the picture where S is stirring, you can see them standing up in the cups. If you want to be super cool, you can wait about 30 or so minutes after starting the whole refrigeration step and then pop them in so they aren't totally at the top/bottom and are more in the middle. I'm never coordinated enough to remember, so I just put them in at the beginning. :)

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  4. This is a great idea! I'm definitely going to try this with our 18m old.

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    1. Thank you! That's around the time S started really loving to "excavate" things from the gelatin. :)

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  5. I came across your blog yesterday after another Page on Facebook posted a link to one of your blogs. I love all of your ideas and you have definitely inspired me! I did this with my 2 year old and 1 year old sons this morning. They made a huge mess, but it was so much fun (and it didnt take me long to clean up!). I also went and bought scraps of felt (inspired by your love for felt and your board) and they had a lot of fun helping me cut and make designs with them. Thanks so much for sharing, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for your blogs :)

    Sarah in Australia xx

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    1. Hi Sarah!

      Oh, that's so awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me about the fun you were having! It's my favorite part of blogging - getting to hear the stories! :) Have you read my post on managing messy play? If not, it might give you a few ideas to make the whole process a bit easier: http://www.funathomewithkids.com/2013/04/managing-messy-play.html
      I agree with you - whatever mess is created is worth the fun they have! :)

      And don't forget you can subscribe by email (there's a button along the right hand side of the blog - it's a black popout bar near the top) or you can follow us on Facebook or Google+ or Pinterest to make sure you don't miss anything.

      Thanks again and I'm so glad you all have enjoyed the activities! :) :) :)

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  6. Thanks for this post! I am just gearing up for this Seattle winter and am definitely going to do this on a rainy day.

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  7. Thank you, Sheena! So crazy the Seattle winter is upon us already! Eek!!!

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  8. Oh my gosh. I love this! We've never played with gelatin. You've got my wheels turning now!

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    1. Oh awesome! I can't wait to see what you come up with, Jackie!!!!!

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  9. Brilliant work!!!! Borrowing this for tutoring kids with special needs. Thank you. Ruth Barker Montessori 1:1

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    1. Thank you, Ruth!!! Yes, please do!!! I hope it's a hit!

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  10. Wow, this is great! I'll be doing this in my Baby Sensory Program for sure!

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  11. I have the gelatin sitting in the fridge now... Going to test it out tomorrow to see how my 16 mo old likes it. I used huge buttons to put in the gelatin along with blue food coloring. Thanks for the great idea!

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    1. Oh awesome, Kaila! Let us know how it goes!!! :)

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  12. How much boiling and cold water did you use?

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    1. It will depend on the brand of gelatin you use. Just follow the instructions on the package. :)

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Welcome to Fun at Home with Kids! I'm Asia, a teacher (M. Ed) turned SAHM mom to two young kids: X and S. Around here we like to do a little bit of everything - science, art, crafts, sensory play, and small world play. Click here to read more about us!

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