Why do we encourage toddlers and preschoolers to explore messy play?
Messy play is a child’s opportunity to learn about textures using our sense of touch, taste, smell and sight. They may even hear the squelching of the jelly as it moves between the fingers dropping onto the tray. The learning occurs when children experiment and interact with the materials with their fingers and hands and grasping different tools using their hand eye coordination skills
A Fun taste safe activity to try at home in high chair, at the table or on a clean washable surface.
Get started by purchase 3 boxes of jelly crystals
Select 5 -10 small (age appropriate plastic toys) Animals, letters, baby chew rings, or popular figurines.
Mix 3 packets of jelly crystals with boiling water, keep away from children and follow instructions on the box.
- Option to sprinkle more gelatine and extra cup of water to make the jelly play go further.
- The gelatine will help it stay firmer and not have the ‘Sloppy melting feel’
When the jelly crystals have dissolved allow to cool in the jug. (20min).
Lay out the figurine, or toys in a deep dish or metal oven tray. I used laminated pictures as the toys. However toys will give the 3D affect to grasp easier.
Pour the jelly into the dish and leave in fridge until set. About 2hrs.
When ready to play, wobble it out onto a large tray or plastic serving deep dish platter and add some spoons, tweezers, tongs and butter knife or pop sticks. Plus cups or mini bowls for the children to play and transfer the jelly and figurines into. Children will enjoy being able to slice the jelly up into tiny pieces using the knife or popstick,
If toddlers are hesitant to touch, show them and then step back and watch how they create.
Soon they will use their hands to squeeze and smear too. It’s all part of the fun learning about textures. The warmth of the hands may begin to make it cool down and change texture to become more runny.
Alternative you could freeze it and children use a metal spoon to chisel away at the ice to reveal the toys.