Yummy to eat, but Jelly is also fun to play with and a great way to get creative and develop new and interesting vocab with your littlies.
Ages: Children will like to taste and eat the jelly as they play so you can introduce jelly play as soon as you feel comfortable with your little tasting it.
You can get more natural, preservative and colour free varieties nowadays.
To begin with prepare your jelly according to directions on the packet, you may wish to use more than one packet. You can make it more watery if you'd like a more slimy feel or set it quite hard if your wanting a firmer consistency- good for digging into and getting little muscles in little fingers working.
Below, I'll share with you some of the ways I have used Jelly play with my children.
Miss M learnt her letter sounds and names really quickly however we hadn't done any consolidation of this skill for awhile so I decided to add some gorgeous glittery alphabet letters I have to the jelly. I added them into the 3 packets of dissolved jelly crystals before I put the Jelly in the fridge.
I left the Jelly to set overnight for 24 hrs as I wanted it quite firm.
You could also try
shapes/ cookie cutters
plastic animals/ dinosaurs
glass pebbles- over 2.5/3yrs
anything that is of particular interest to your child at the current time
Ummm it didn't quite come out looking like I expected but Miss M didn't mind one little bit. She couldn't wait to get into it!
You can do this inside or out. If inside be sure to put down a large messy mat/ old table cloth etc to help with the clean up.
"Hmmm I think there might be something in here"
Using her senses,
"hey look what I found"
"let me just clean off these letters a little bit"
Each letter she found we'd talk about it's name and what sound it makes in words. We would think of and share some words we knew that began with the sound.
Once she had found all the letters and had finished exploring the jelly I had a tub ready to give the letters a wash.
Miss M lined the letters up on the paving to dry but the play didn't stop there.
Together we arranged the letters to see if we could put the sounds together to make words.
Miss M is learning the skill of blending
" j , c " thats not a word hehehe!
" m , a , t " makes mat, yay
We had many laughs using the letters to make up real and nonsense words.
Miss M also enjoyed Jelly play in her younger days also!
She had lot's of fun using all her senses and I still remember how she tried to get in by stepping into the bowl! How awesome would a jelly bath be if not just a wee bit sticky.
The H Man's turn at Jelly play!
I used smaller bowls of jelly this time and placed them around a small table as I wanted to encourage the H Man to stand and play and to cruise the table to get to each of them. This is something he has needed some encouragement to do.
It is great to think creatively on how to use play to develop certain skills that need strengthening in your children.
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Play and Learn
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