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Monday, 11 August 2014

Jelly Worlds

Today I took advantage of my husband having a public holiday and decided to put together a sensory play activity for both Wugs and Dooey. I haven't attempted this with both children at the same time before, so it was a bit of an experiment and it helped to have an extra set of hands and eyes to limit the mess. Having said that, the play was surprisingly civilised.

I themed the jelly play according to the moulds that I already had in the cupboard - flowers, fish, starfish and shells.  Making the jelly involved a bit of trial and error as I bought two types of jelly - one made of seaweed ("Swallow Globe Agar-Agar) that involved adding sugar and boiling the mix and the other one ("Jello") was a ready mix that only required hot and cold water. I found the seaweed jelly to be the best as it was firmer, cheaper, set quicker and with just 4 packets of the white powder, I could separate it out and colour it with food colouring according to my requirements (so less waste).  Having said that, the "Jello" softer jelly worked best as a base (we used it as the base of the coral reef jelly tub).  As it broke up easily, it was fun moving the firmer jelly fish, shells etc through the base.  It also meant the children could experience the texture of two different types of jelly.

As the coral reef themed tub was for Wugs, I included some non-edible plastic coins (treasure) for Wugs to dig up.

Then we placed each tub on the light box to see how the light passes through the jelly creating different colours.  For details on how to make your own light box, click on my post: DIY Light Box

The first thing Dooey did was pick out the small flowers from his tub and eat them.  He saw the sensory play as one big feast, to the point that we had to remove some of the flowers as I was concerned about the sugar content.  The first thing Wugs did was use a spoon and carefully lift out the fish for closer examination.  He did eventually touch the jelly, but preferred to handle it with utensils.  Then they swapped places and enjoyed each others' tubs.

What we (should have) used:
(I'll spare you the details of exactly how many packets and brands of jelly we went through to get the right mix and just give you my recommendation):

1 packet of "Jello" green powder mix jelly
1 packet of "Jello" blue powder mix jelly
2 packets of "Swallow Globe Agar-Agar" of white seaweed jelly (I'm sure any brand of seaweed jelly would have worked as well)
500g castor sugar
Food colouring (red, yellow, green, blue)


  1. very cool!! Love how it looks on the light table!

  2. How beautiful! Adding it to the light table was a great idea!

  3. Oh wow! I have never thought to use jello in sensory play before! I love how you used the light table too. Pinning this one to my toddler activities board - thanks for linking up :) #supermommyclub