The first in our winter series is Antarctic small world and sensory play with the wonderful Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails. Today’s activity is edible, foamy, and incorporates up-cycled DIY slides with lots of messy sticky play.
If you’ve followed our small world play, you know I LOVE up-cyling materials and using play recipes to make our sensory materials. We’ve already created an Arctic Snow Dough Small World, so it’s time to venture to the south pole and visit the whales, penguins, and seals on the icebergs of Antarctica.
You’ll need the following materials: [affiliate links]
- (3) Blue Jello
- Ice Cube Trays (optional)
- Whip Cream
- (2) Happy Puffs O’s Containers
- Large Bin
- Animals – Arctic Toob, Ocean Toob (optional Penguin Toob)
- Brad Piercing Tool (optional)
- (4) Brads Pins (optional) *substitute hot glue
Let’s start with the super chilly icy-blue jello water! To make the jello water follow the instructions on the box and pour the jello liquid mixture into ice-cube trays. There’s a quick-set method on the box too – much faster! We used 3 boxes total. One box fills two ice-cube trays. After it sets, use a butter knife to score the edges and dump the cubes out. The cubes won’t be perfect, but it’s jello icy water right?! For the frothy snow, we used whip cream! Edible sensory play – fun! Our intention wasn’t to eat it, but more for the sensations and fantastic fruity smell! The aromatic scent really packs a strong sensory punch.
Here’s a sneak peek at our Antarctic Small World, The Sensory Iceberg! Now let’s make the up-cycled DIY slides for play.
To assemble the slides, the directions are as follows:
- You’ll need (2) Baby O’s Containers, brad pierce tool or needle, (4) brad pins, and scissors. You can substitute hot glue for the brads. The only difference is it won’t be adjustable.
- Clean the containers, remove cap, and cut off both ends. Following the horizontal seem, cut down the container on both sides. It makes two pieces as shown above.
- Line-up the two pieces at the top and poke a hole through both pieces.
- Push the brad pin through and flatten both sides.
- Your DIY are now adjustable.
After assembling the slides, C could hardly wait for the jello to set, so he moved them to his shredded paper sensory bin we made a few weeks ago. Hilarious! Surprisingly, C was all about the jello and patiently – not really – waiting to play with it! He’s never been exposed to jello so I was pleasantly surprised by his excitement! Not to mention the fabulous smell of the blue ice. He kept saying, “Mommy, smell! I want to smell the blue-ice please!” After explaining the activity was for tomorrow, he made new plans for play. He added water to his bin and made an animal water station with the slides. He loved the last animal washing station we made with bubbles. I’d say the slides are differently a big hit!
Harper seal is enjoying the slippery-snowy slides. He’s not cold though, he’s got an extra layer of blubber to keep him warm on the icebergs of Antarctica. We used the whales, seals, and penguins from Safari’s Toobs. The two larger penguins are from a polar playlet. Let’s explore the icebergs of Antarctica now!
The Emperor penguins are getting ready to go find fish in the icy-blue waters! Imaginative play is so fun.
Orca whales are having fun!
Sperm whale is diving deep in the cold waters of Antarctica.
Penguin is belly surfing on the icy caps – wee! He’s never been exposed to jello or whip cream, so he was hesitant at first, but by the end he was really enjoying all the textures and sensations. He said, “Ow, icy-sticky jello is slimy!”
Beware penguins, Orca whales may eat you – eek!
Who knew jello would be so fun?! The coolness and jelly-like textures really make for a wonderful sensory experience. Sensory and imaginative play really helps children develop words to sensations and it facilitates exploration while they play, create, and explore. Plus, it’s inexpensive and fun.
Here’s C in action! And yes, as I predicted, he tried to eat it. Luckily, it’s not his flavor – so too speak. He really enjoyed this sensory experience. We even added in a few measuring scoops for packing, filling, and pouring.
As always, please supervise your children during play. Although the animals are large, beware of mouthing. This activity isn’t age-appropriate for everyone. Please use your own discretion.
Be sure to pop over to Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails blog each week in November too.
Here’s her Sensational Winter Sensory Play activities: Antarctica Sensory Sink.
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