Dinosaurs and Rainbow Jelly Messy Play

Welcome to our newest category on The Craft Train – messy play! My 4 year old couldn’t get enough of this rainbow jelly activity (or jello in the USA). It’s the second time we’ve done this, the first time I ran out of gelatine halfway through creating the colours so half of them were very thin (pretty much liquid) and what resulted was a spectacular but fun mess. We had sticky jelly puddles on the floor and all over the kids table. It was that messy and chaotic I didn’t end up posting it, but miss K loved it so much she asked me to set it up again, and I obliged. This time around I made sure we had enough ingredients, made a few modifications and the messy play was no less fun but a bit more contained and easy to clean up. Here is how we did it…

You will need

• Gelatine powder or sachets
• Food colouring in a rainbow of colours
• Plastic containers (we used standard rectangular take-away containers)
• Scoops and spoons from the kitchen (optional)
• Foil trays
• Plastic dinosaurs or similar (optional)
• Plastic tablecloth if doing this indoors

How to

First make up the gelatine into containers of different coloured jelly according to the directions on the packet. We used approximately 1.2 cups of liquid jelly per container and then added the food colouring once it was in the containers, letting it set overnight. Miss K loved helping me make the jellies.
I set the foil trays out for the girls to scoop their jelly into. It’s interesting to note that neither bothered at all with the scoops and utensils at first, they just got straight in there with their hands and incorporated the utensils into their play as an afterthought a bit later on. If you have a child that is not keen on touching the jelly the scoops and spoons might be more useful.
It looks like this at first…
Eventually it resembles dinosaur soup.
Miss K tired of playing dinosaurs and took her tray of jelly outside for some stomping…
She asked if she could go get her swimsuit on and swim in it – haha. You have to draw the line somewhere, right? Jelly was flung across the garden in delight and I was glad I hadn’t made the sugar-loaded pre mixed packs. This was actually pretty easy to clean up, unlike our first jelly play attempt. The garden mess was easily hosed away and the plastic cloth and containers inside easily washed. I have a funny feeling I’ll be roped into this activity again sometime soon.
You can find plenty more messy play ideas on my Messy Fun board on pinterest.
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  1. says

    I read this post just after I’d agreed to make jelly for Wet and Messy Day at our playgroup. I LOVED how the boys worked together to plan out their landscape, complete with volcanoes etc. It was a hot day, so the jelly was soon pretty liquidy, but it was great fun. Thanks for the tip about using gelatine and food colouring rather than multiple packets of jelly crystals. It worked really well!


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