Mixing things up. Literally.

(Yes, the puns are horrible.  No, they won’t stop. *grin*)

So we’ve been OBSESSED in our house here recently with the mixing-of-things.  It started when I let the Little Scientist “help” make nerddadmathfun’s birthday cake.  I truly wish I could have gotten pictures of the ingredient dumping and egg cracking, but (as you can imagine), both of my hands were a TAD busy.  So I got pics of the VERY INTENSE MIXING process, followed by the IMPATIENTLY WAITING process.

mixing is SERIOUS business

is it DONE yet? (hint: it’s only been in the oven 2.5 minutes)

This activity made an unexpectedly huge impression on the kid – bright and early the next morning, while my head was buried in the refrigerator, he grabbed out a serving spoon and drug a chair to the counter.  Ready. To. Go.  Since the cake-baking a week ago, nary an egg has been cracked or a veggie chopped in this house without expert toddler supervision.

So I decided to capitalize on the moment, first trying a 2-color jello mixture:

immediately after this picture? spoon in mouth. big time.

This was a hit, but the jello was too “soft”, and 2 colors didn’t really hold interest.  So I found a great post on No Time For Flashcards and that night I made 6 8×8 pans of jello according to the jiggler recipe.  Cut up and stacked the next morning yielded this rainbow**:

ummm, mom? this looks messy…

Though we were unsure to begin with (see above), we quickly got in the grove of the mixing:

yeah. messy…

…but delicious

that piece. i want that one RIGHT THERE.

We spent a lot of time in this activity talking about textures (cold, squishy, jiggly, slimy) and colors.  We talked about how the different colors didn’t melt into each other like liquids, but stayed tiny little “jewels”.  We identified colors in the super-mixed final product, and looked at how some colors were hard to see (like yellow) while some were pretty obvious (blue and purple).

We also ate a lot of jello.  Since we’ve been fighting a head cold here, I took this opportunity to get some extra liquid in the kid… But if you were trying to discourage the eating of science projects, Kool-Aid mixed into plain gelatin without sugar was suggested by the original poster.

We’ve also been working on a lentils-and-buttons mixture.  I think the standard in this activity would be beans, but seeing as how beans are the LS’s FAVORITE food, that seemed like a recipe for disaster.  So I hid 5 big buttons in a tub of lentils, and let him search for them.  Word to the wise: do this activity outside.  Unless you like stepping on lentils for the next 2 weeks.

needle in a haystack’s got NOTHING on this

looking… and HOLY CRAPP is the kid wearing a shirt? How ’bout that!

everywhere. there were lentils EVERYWHERE.

I’m thinking of substituting gradually smaller colored bits (like beads) to make this harder… I’ve also moved it into a gallon zip-loc for mess containment purposes.

**INDIGO ISN’T REALLY A COLOR.  Pet peeve.  See, light has wavelengths – and different wavelengths appear to our eyes like different colors.  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue & Violet are all nicely spaced along the wavelengths and evenly distributed.  But because 6 was the NUMBER OF THE DEVIL, Newton inserted Indigo in between Blue and Violet.  Grr.


16 Comments on “Mixing things up. Literally.”

  1. These are cool projects! I can’t believe you made that much jello. Your little buddy’s experessions are wonderful; he’s sooooo focused!

    • I forgot to warn the hubs about the fridge full of jello… Poor guy was just looking for an after-dinner snack! LS definitely gets that “intensity” thing going on – tunes out the WORLD too! Can’t wait until he’s a little bigger and I can start trying some of the art ideas you’ve posted 🙂

  2. I never knew that about indigo. LOVE your rainbow jello!

    Thanks for sharing with Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  3. Laurie says:

    Loving the rainbow and the button search–so much exploring!! (You’ll be eating jello for days!)

  4. Ann says:

    Thanks for the indigo factoid – interesting! Looks like you guys have been busy!!! I made the lentil mistake here although mine when something like this, “Mom, can we play with these lentils?”
    “Okay, just don’t make a mess.” That was months ago and I am still finding them : )

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Now I want to make rainbow jello to play in. It looks positively delightful!

  6. vanita says:

    Absolutely loved this post. Pretty darn handsome toddler there too! So wait, u used kool aid to color the jello? Why? Besides making pretty colors does it just taste better? My toddlers are fanatics for jello. Especially those parfaits at the supermarket that r mixed with milk. Totally grosses me out but they love it.

    • Aw – thank you ma’am!

      We used the store-brand 64-cent jello, but the gal who had the idea to start apparently didn’t want her kids eating their weight in gelatin (like mine did). She used the no-sugar koolaid trick 😉

  7. […] You think I’d learn.  I already talked about the lentils and their ridiculousness.  Here. […]

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