This is a really simple activity that gives you lots of opportunities to explore many aspects of the EYFS.
If you involve the children from the very beginning then not only will they be able to talk about and name the resources that they have collected, they will also be able to explore how the gelatine changes the water from a liquid to a solid. You can talk about how the mixture goes from hot to cold and what the final jelly feels like in their hands.
There should be lots of opportunities for a variety of experiences, talking and thinking.
- Vegetable Gelatine ( I used 3 sachets of vege-gel for a mixing bowl sized jelly)
- Cold Water (1 pint per sachet)
- Whisk or spoon
- Container/s (I used a pyrex bowl but you could use small bowls, cups or jelly moulds)
I was also thinking you could do this in a tuff tray for a very wide and flat jelly experience, you might just need more sachets! Or, how about your water tray? You would definitely need lots more sachets! But, can you imagine the fun?
- Tray (for investigation)
- Leaves, conkers, flowers and any other signs of Autumn you can collect. Please ensure that all of the items you use are safe.
As its name suggests, vegetable gelatine contains no meat products so it is suitable to be handled by all children. It is really simple to use. As it is used for cooking and deserts it doesn’t set as firmly as classic jelly. If you want your jelly to be firmer then just add less water.
What to do:
- Put 1 pint of cold water per sachet into a pan
- Add the gelatine and whisk
- Bring the liquid to the boil (it will begin to thicken a little bit as it get to boiling point)
- Being VERY careful, pour the boiling liquid into your bowl/mould/moulds
TIP – The gelatine thickens as it cools. If you add all of your Autumn treasures to this very hot liquid, most of them will just float on the top and a lot of the flowers and leaves will wilt because of the heat. If that happens then your jelly will look rubbish!
Let the liquid cool for 30 – 45 mins then start to add your leaves etc. You should find that you are able to spread them about a bit more as the liquid is thicker and cooler. I found that the conkers sank to the bottom regardless!
- Leave to set – this only takes a couple of hours
It was interesting to look at even before we turned it out of the bowl,
especially in the sunshine.
It came out of the bowl really easily.
- Turn out onto a tray or tuff spot
shiny, wobbly jelly
- Let the children explore!
You can use your fingers…
or maybe tweezers?
It feels fantastic!
Obviously, this is not just for Autumn, there are a million different things that you could put into jelly – the mind boggles! If you have a go then send me a picture and I will share it.
Please ensure that you check for allergies and risk assess all aspects of the above activity.