hello gelatin!

best art class party and camp morris county new jerseyIn our studio, one of the stations that is the most exciting for our youngest students is the “messy table”. Here we introduce a new sensory experience each week for them to explore, experiment with, create with – and yes, make a mess with.

Throughout the session, we cycle through a number of different substances– such as goop, slime, and snow dough, to name a few – and gelatin.   Kids love its jiggly motions and the way it is squishy and breakable; it has been in our rotation for about 10 years.art studio for kids northern new jersey the messy artist art studio for kids

How to enjoy play gelatin at home:

  • Mix up a batch of unflavored gelatin, using less water than the recipe calls for. We tend to use about 1/8 less than the recommended amount.   This makes it thicker and allows it to be cut into shapes and not break as easily. We use Knox brand, found at many grocery stores.      knox
  • We use unflavored gelatin so that even if a child does decide to taste it, the lack of flavor stops them from wanting more. We have noticed however that not too many children do try to taste it – perhaps jello is not as popular as a dessert now as it was a generation or two ago.
  • To give the gelatin color, we use food coloring.
  • For added visual interest, we add glitter. The glitter will often settle to the bottom while the gelatin cools, so we flip the cubes over as we serve them up, and then sprinkle more glitter on top.      north jersey art classes for children east hanover

We pour the gelatin into a 9” x 13” baking tray, and the once the gelatin has thickened, we cut it into squares. As with many of our messy activities, we put it on a tray for the children to enjoy: this keeps it easily contained for them, and makes cleanup easier for us.new jersey art class camp and party morris county sensory play for toddlersWe put out tools and toys for the kids to use to experiment with the gelatin: popsicles sticks, small plastic cups, tongs, plastic animals.

the messy artist gelatin sensory play fine art class nj for kids

Have you tried gelatin as a sensory material for children? Let us know!


Author: hellokidsart

The Messy Artist is a special place to create art. We offer year-round art classes for children 18 months through adulthood. In addition to art classes from September through June, we offer summer art camp and Drop-In and Play art activities for kids between our regular sessions. Our bright, colorful studio is also the perfect place for a kid’s birthday party! The Messy Artist children’s art center was created and designed by Owner/Director Donna Bernstein, a professional educator and artist. The curriculum is inspired and guided by Donna’s teaching experience and research in child development, as well as her passion for art. At The Messy Artist, art lessons for kids entertain and enrich their brains, bodies, and hearts.

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