Take a break from the summer heat and get creative with an art activity you can eat! Kids love creating custom designs out of Gelatin shapes and you’ll love the brain-boosting benefits of this out-of-the-box project, including inspiring creativity and imagination, building fine motor skills, introducing key early math concepts and vocabulary, and more.
Patterning is a basic early math skill and lays the foundation for learning the building blocks of addition, times tables, and skip counting (counting by 2’x, 5’s, 10’s etc). A pattern is really only a pattern when it repeats at least twice. Follow the instructions below and encourage your child to pattern the colors and shapes – try an AB, AB pattern, then ABC, ABC, then ABAB, and so on. Then let your kiddo get creative, designing their own abstract shapes or creating recognizable objects like houses and cars, using the mosaic shapes you’ve cut out of gelatin!
Let’s get started! Follow the instructions below, using the materials below, and be sure to post a photo of your fantastic creations on our Facebook page. And, if you enjoyed this activity, be sure to check out the rest of our DIY Creativity Camp activity blog posts!
(For our kid Makers who are reading this, make sure to ask a parent to help you with these projects!)
Download PDF: Picture Perfect Gelatin Art Steps
Just Gelin’: Picture Perfect Gelatin Art!
- 5 pouches (1 oz each) of clear gelatin
- 3 small boxes (3 oz each) of flavored gelatin (my daughter chose red, orange and blue)
- 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
- Plastic wrap
- 3 Containers/pans for your flavored gelatin (4″ x 4″ or bigger)
- 1 Large container/pan for mosaic making
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
STEP 1: MIX GELATIN AND LET SET
Line your containers with plastic wrap so you can easily remove the gelatin.
Mix one pouch of clear gelatin with 1 cup of boiling water in a bowl. Stir until dissolved. Then add one box of colored gelatin to this mixture, stir until dissolved, and pour into one of your containers. (Note we recommend less water than stated on the gelatin package so the gelatin blocks are firmer and easier to work with.)
Repeat step two for the other two colors. Refrigerate all three containers for at least three hours.
STEP 2: CUT GELATIN INTO TILES
Remove all colors from the fridge, remove the gelatin from the containers, and cut each color into 1” x 1” square tiles, about .5 thick.
Return cut cubes to their containers and put them back in the fridge.
STEP 3: MAKE MILK GELATIN
In a mixing bowl, mix two pouches of clear gelatin with 1/2 cup of cold water. Let this sit and thicken for a few minutes. Add 1.5 cups of boiling water to this and stir until dissolved. Then add the can of condensed milk and stir until smooth.
Pour a thin layer of this milk gelatin (no more than 1/4″ thick) into your large pan, place in the fridge, and let chill a few minutes – until it thickens up a bit. Leave the rest of the milk gelatin to cool on the counter top – do not put this batch in the fridge.STEP 4: CREATE YOUR ART
STEP 4: CREATE YOUR GELATIN MASTERPIECE
When the milk gelatin has thickened a bit, remove it, and your cut, colored squares, from the fridge and place it on the counter or table where you’ll be working. Then use the colored tiles to create patterns, designs, or pictures by placing them directly into the milk gelatin pan. When you’re done, return the milk gelatin to the fridge for a few minutes.
Tip! Try cutting your tiles into different shapes to help with your designs, like the blue and orange below:
STEP 5: SPOON MILK GELATIN BETWEEN TILES
Take the pan out of the fridge and carefully spoon some of the extra milk gelatin left in the container on the counter to fill the spaces between the gelatin tiles.
STEP 6: VOILA
Refrigerate until set and “Voila!” Picture Perfect Jello Art!
Brain Boosting Benefits:
- Encourages imagination and creativity
- Enhances fine motor skills
- Introduces basic geometric shapes and vocabulary
- Introduces patterning, a basic early math skill