Small children are fascinated by what they can find in the world. They are also fascinated by the things adults can make for them. Why not allow a simple excavation that doesn’t require getting in the dirt and mud? You can easily make this with household items.
What You Will Need:
Bundt cake pan
Plain gelatin (a box of Knox Geltain, all four packages)
Plastic toys (either already owned by your child or children or new ones that you’ll let them have)
Large, but low container for outside
Plate (wider than the bundt pan)
Children’s toys for “cutting” and “digging”
Food coloring (optional)
Start by making the gelatin in the bundt pan. Follow the directions on the box. However, before putting the gelatin in the refrigerator to set, put the plastic toys into the gelatin mold at different places. Once they are in the mold, then put the gelatin in the refrigerator so it sets.
Setting should take about three hours.
Once you are ready to start the excavation, bring the large container outside. Place it on the sidewalk or grass, whichever you prefer, and then add some water so about an inch to two inches is in the container.
Take the bundt pan with the gelatin out of the refrigerator. Get the plate. Place the bundt pan on the plate so the opening is toward the plate and the closed, curved bottom is in the air. Bring this to a sink and run warm water over the bundt pan. Turn off the water. Try to lift the bundt pan and the gelatin mold should slide out onto the plate. If it didn’t work, try lifting the bundt pan while running warm water over it. Then turn off the water.
Now that you have the gelatin mold, bring it outside and put it in the container with the water. Make sure to put children’s shovels and maybe children’s flatware into the container.
Your child or children can now start to “excavate” into the water and gelatin. It can be a puzzle for youngsters to figure out how to get to the animals.
Some young children may find the clear color of water and gelatin boring. Food coloring can be added to the water and over the gelatin to make them more interesting. Children can even be allowed to add colors themselves. However, make sure that children are supervised the whole time that the are excavating and playing with the food coloring.