Most times, I'll organise a craft or sensory activity for the boys to join. However, when it came to playing with gelatin, we made an activity of preparing for the activity.
Sound confusing? It's not really.
Instead of me making the gelatin for the boys to play with the next day, the boys made it themselves.
Preparing the gelatin provided valuable learning experiences, including:
Reading a recipe ... or instructions ... on how to make gelatin. Expose to different types of texts (e.g., instructional, narrative, etc.) helps children to see that text is written for different purposes.
Measuring ingredients - a great way to involve maths.
Prediction and observation - as we discussed how the properties of gelatin change when water is added as well as when it is left in the refrigerator for a longer period of time.
Creativity - adding colour and mixing food dyes together to make new colours.
Doing things for children when they can do them for themselves, prevents them for exercising and learning new skills. I just have to remember to ask myself ... "Can the boys' do it themselves?" If so, then let them do it.
Now you've seen how we made an activity out of preparing for an activity, have a look at how we played with gelatin: Sensory Play: Playing with Gelatin
This post contains suggestions which make clean up much easier.
Do you play with gelatin as a sensory activity? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences regarding this type of play.
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Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.