Imagine putting your hands in a big bowl of jelly and feeling that wibbly, wobbly, enjoyable sensation as an adult….well you can just imagine the sheer delight it will bring to our little explorers when we introduce them to the world of jelly play.
It is a fantastic sensory play activity for babies and toddlers that are curious to feel the new textures and colours that jelly will bring.
There are a wide variety of ways that we can use jelly to entertain our little ones- even a simple bowl of jelly to get their hands in will bring so much joy!
Who knew you could combine snack time with play time but that is exactly what we can do with jelly.
It is a yummy snack for both little ones and adults but can be made into the perfect messy play.
There’s always a bonus if the jelly does get eaten up- less tidying for us mummy’s at the end of the day!
Jelly can either be bought ready to simply add boiling water or you could make your own with very few ingredients.
No judgement here if the faster, easier option is chosen!
- 1 pack of gelatine
- ⅔ cup of hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Food colouring
- Bring ⅔ cup of water almost to the boil
- Pour water and 1 pack of gelatine into a mixing bowl. Add Salt. Stir until dissolved.
- If desired, put a few drops of food colouring
- Put into a mould/ where you want the jelly to be and place in the fridge for at least 4 hrs
- Any extras could be added in such as glitter, sequins etc.
BENEFITS OF JELLY PLAY
- Works on coordination and fine motor skills by manipulating materials to reach items inside
- Can place numbers/animal/letters inside the jelly and practise pronouncing them and see if little ones will repeat. Helps language development
- Exploring and playing with jelly how they want. There are now rules for playing with jelly
- Use all 5 senses; touch (feels all squishy), sight (can make different colours), sound (the squelching noises of the jelly), taste (if you add some flavouring it can be yummy for snack time too), smell (add some herbs and spices to open their nose to new scents).
If you use outside in the sun, it could melt and use to play as mush/mud with animal figures/ cars.
The messier the activity the happier the toddlers.
The jelly will start becoming a big area of mush very quickly in the rays of sunshine and the little ones will love to see these solid shapes of jelly start melting and becoming a liquidy play area which will resemble a colourful ground of ‘mud.’
Why not get the toy animals out or cars and trucks to use with the melting mess.
The tidy up of this activity can be just as fun for our toddlers.
Use a big container of water to wash the toys that have previously been used within the jelly.
Our toddlers will think jelly play has turned into water play while they toys are in the meantime being cleaned.
Make shapes with jelly
The possibilities are endless with the shape making.
You could keep it super simple by using regular rectangular ice cube molds to put the jelly mixture.
Otherwise you could find all kinds of shapes, sizes and items around the house which would work well as jelly molds.
There could be jelly towers made from cupcake molds, rectangular jelly blocks from the ice molds or even little animal figures using these fun molds I found.
It is great fun creating a mini scene for your little ones to get involved with that is very eye catching and will draw their attention for them to immediately jump into the excitement.
It is almost a given that the beautifully created scene won’t last for long and will become a mixture of intertwined colours.
Jelly in a large bowl to put hands and feet inside
Attention: Flying jelly may well be involved in this activity!
Fill a big bowl or tray with jelly and get your little toddlers hands and feet squishing and squelching right in there.
At the beginning this will be a sensory overload and there may very well be some very funny faces pulled.
There could be jelly accidentally thrown and kicked around when the fun and games get going- you will be shocked how far a toddler can launch something unintentionally.
Put toys inside jelly
This is a fabulous activity to get our little ones digging and rooting through the jelly to reach the target (their toys).
A jelly theme could be created and relative items put within the mixture. A few ideas are;
- Bug themed
- Farm animal themed
- Nature themed
- Sea themed
- Rainbow themed
- Number themed
It is fascinating to see how quickly our little explorers can become comfortable using the jelly and using their hands to play with both toys and jelly together.
Please always stay in close proximity and pay great attention whilst the little ones are playing if small toys are placed inside the jelly.
Yummy Snack Time
At the same time as setting up jelly play, you could also prepare some yummy jelly snacks.
Add slices of fruit into the jelly mixture before putting it in the fridge and out will come some tasty, healthy snacks with a different texture for our little ones to get their mouths around!
Let us know your favourite part of jelly play with your little monsters too!
Why not try our painting activities for toddlers for more messy play.