I know tomorrow is Valentine’s Day but my mind is already planning St.Patrick’s Day. If you need a Valentine’s Day craft idea we have those, too, but I had to share this because it was too much fun to keep to ourselves any longer. The major bonus of this rainbow gelatin sensory tub project was that for toddlers who are putting everything in their mouths it’s no biggie if they take a bite. I added kool-aid to make it smell great and sour to discourage eating it. Note: Refrigeration is necessary.
- Gather your materials. I used 6 foil pans I had on hand but any container will work to set the gelatin, you will need plain gelatin packets 4 per color, food color, spoons, a pot, measuring cups and kool-aid for scent/added color. Also a big tub and some bath toys for playing. I have been asked why not just use jello. I didn’t want my kids to eat this – I wanted it to smell great but taste yucky.
- Start by mixing your colors. I used koolaid mostly for scent but also for color.
- Make the gelatin. I used the recipe on the back of the knox gelatin box adjusting it to 1/2 as much liquid ( 1/2 cup of cool and 1 cup hot and 4 envelopes of gelatin) as the recipe called for to make it thicker for play using plain water with color/ koolaid in it. I made all 6 colors.
- Let cool – I had to stack them in my fridge so I popped a few in the freezer for a minute to stiffen. I totally forgot about this purple one. It froze, which made it unusable. The kids didn’t miss it at all.
- When set slice into pieces. I used a knife then scraped it into the tub using a spatula.
- Add kids and toys. He was so excited he was bouncing, this is the best picture of many very blurry bouncy pictures I took.
- You can probably tell we used our gelatin sensory tub in our bathroom. Please find a place where tiny bits of color won’t ruin anything. The gelatin won’t stain hands but absorbs into clothes and other fabrics. Please go somewhere where kids can have fun without you hovering. Also, so you won’t have to search for stain removers on Pinterest after this project. Our bathroom was perfect. I had a damp cloth handy for little bits that got shaken off hands or toys and flung all over. It also had a door to stop kids from running into the rest of the house before hands were washed after playing with the gelatin sensory tub. All this said, it was still completely worth it.
- They stuck them on the side of the tub.
- Smelled it.
- Tasted it (love my son’s face, he’s telling her not to eat it).
- Mixed them all up and had a blast.
Want more great ideas for preschool activities? Check out our Build Preschool Thematic Curriculum Units!