There’s just something about the texture and consistency of gelatin that makes children want to make a hands-on exploration. Here’s how to have some fun with gelatin in your sensory bin.
Use plain Knox Gelatine and mix 3/4 cup of boiling water per package. So if you’re doing the entire box of four, get 3 cups of water nice and boiling and then stir in the packages to dissolve. Don’t make the mistake I did of dumping all four in at once and then stirring. You’ll end up with a stubborn gumdrop in the middle. Add one at a time and stir to dissolve. Pour the mixture into a container (muffin tins, empty Cool Whip or yogurt containers, bowls, etc.), or better yet, several containers. It’s always helpful to have several gel molds made up so that you can replace them as they become used up in the bin. It’s always frustrating to have only one mold and find that it has already been explored to pieces before child number 4 has even come through the door.
Chill the molds in the fridge overnight. To loosen, you may need to run around the edges with a butter knife. (Oiling the containers or using a cooking spray beforehand also helps with an easier release.) Present the mold with containers of colored water and pipettes or small eye droppers. The children can fill the droppers, insert them into the gel, and squeeze to release the color in a newly created crevasse (great for small motor skills). The color mixing and overall effect is just awesome and intriguing, even for grown ups. Recently, I had a group of children exploring the gel mold and they began pretending that they were making a cake, so we added shaving cream as well. Loads of fun and a truly unique sensory experience! Have fun exploring with your little ones!