Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gelatin Play

Gelatin (Jello) play is such a great sensory activity! It wiggles, it's slippery, brightly colored, smells wonderful, has a good weight to it, can be broken down into pieces, is of course edible, and when you're done, leaves your hands feeling sticky! This activity is also inexpensive. I bought four generic boxes for just $1.52! If you have an older child who you know can be safe stirring boiling hot water, its also a great thing to have your child help you prepare.

Of course, with all of this going for it, Ty wasn't a huge fan. I wasn't surprised. His sensory quirks are slowly improving, but this was too "yucky" for him to touch. If he ever gets used to this kind of thing, I'm going to fill the bottom of his baby pool with gelatin and let him get in and go nuts! Until then, I provided toothpicks and toddler utensils for him to stick into the jello, and a toy hammer to hit it with. This way he'd at least get some sensory input from this strange stuff, and I thought maybe it would warm him up to the idea of touching it. He was intrigued hitting and nudging it with the hammer to see it move but that was it. I played with it and made sure he saw how much fun I was having, picking it up and putting it in a small container, smelling and tasting it, jiggling it in my palm...but he just looked at me like I was nuts and walked away after a while.

A couple days later I tried again, as I still had tons of it in the fridge. This time I provided measuring cups and a second container so he could scoop and dump, as well as a wooden spoon to mix it with. He was brave and gave it a try, but not for long.

Though this didn't go well, I figured I'd post so that others could give it a try. I'm sure most little one's would love to dig into this kind of play; just be ready to give a bath afterwards! This may also be a great outdoor activity...let the ants clean-up for you!


  1. How fun! If your son is hesitant to touch the gelatin, you could try putting it in a large plastic bag. I've done that, coloring unflavored gelatin with food coloring...and if you put two different colors in the bag, your child can try some color mixing. (That idea is from MaryAnn Kohl's "First Art" book).

  2. Thank you for the suggestions; I love them! I believe you are the second person to mention that book to me...looks like I need to check it out!

    I am having troubles commenting as myself...on my own blog...sorry that I am doing this as an anonymous poster. There must be a bug...

  3. Oh I would love to try this with my 17 month old- I think he would like it. Will wait til we move though so I can do it outside (we live in an apartment, no garden).

    Will have to hunt for jelly- never seen it here in the kind of packs you make yourself.

  4. This is a great idea! My ods has some sensory issues too and this is a great one to work up to.