Arboretum News

Kids Activity: Jell-o Dig

Find a new way to play with toys and household items - just add Jell-o.

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If it’s too cold to go outside, enjoy some indoor sensory play with Jell-o. Photo by Reba Luiken.

By Reba Luiken, Arboretum coordinator of informal interpretation

Is the end of February when winter starts to feel long or when hope for spring returns? This activity will keep young learners busy in the meantime as they explore the textures, colors, tastes and flavors of indoor sensory play with Jell-o!  Of course, this activity would be great to try outside on a warm summer day, too, for easy cleanup.

– Jell-o
– Water
– Shallow dish like a pie dish
– Small toys that are big enough to not be choking hazards
– Other tools for digging and moving like spoons, tongs, and bowls


1. Gather toys you would like to embed in the Jell-o. Things like plastic measuring spoons and bath toys work well. You might also include natural items, like large pebbles. Anything you include should be large enough not to be a choking hazard

2. Mix up Jell-o according to package instructions and pour into a shallow dish.

3. Add in toys.

4. Let Jell-o set in refrigerator.

5. Prepare for mess with play clothes and floor coverings.

6. Have fun feeling, exploring, and maybe even eating some Jell-o!

7. Add in spoons, tongs and other bowls to practice controlled grabbing and movement.

1 comment on “Kids Activity: Jell-o Dig

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