This week, we’ve been exploring through jello science. This started as a practical way for me to use all the extra jello I bought when attempting to make fingerpaint that flopped, but it ended with some really fun science experiments and more than a few giggles!
Fizzing and Colour Mixing Jello Experiment:
The first science experiment we did was a slightly different take on the usual baking soda and vinegar chemical reactions eruption. This one has a colour mixing sensory twist.
We started with vinegar, baking soda, blue jello, and yellow jello. I set out a clear baking dish and set two smaller dishes inside it. Into each of those dishes, I added baking soda and about half a packet of the jello and stirred them. Then I had Miss Optimism pour vinegar into the dishes and we watched it erupt.
Since we used two primary colours, we had hypothesized that they would create a third colour once they mixed and sure enough, the blue and yellow created green.
This jello science experiment soon turned into a sensory experience. As Miss Optimism put it, “it’s gooey, like wet sand”. She played for more than half an hour in the sensory goop, playing until the liquid was entirely green.
This hands-on learning activity is great for preschoolers up to elementary schoolers. It also makes a simple science fair project.
This science experiment is one of many awesome activities that you can find in The Sensory Science Book Volume 1.
Enzyme versus Protein Jello Experiment:
The next jello science experiment we did was to see if adding pineapple will always prevent jello from setting. Einstein had read on the box of jello that adding kiwi or pineapple will prevent jello from setting.
We began by adding pieces of fresh pineapple to one row in an ice cube tray. I then roasted pineapple and we added a row of cooked pineapple to the tray. We did this to see if cooking the pineapple would make a difference as opposed to using the fresh fruit. We mixed up jello according to the package directions and poured it in the tray.
In another tray, we set out one row of strawberry pieces to see how the jello would react to that fruit and in the last row, added nothing so that we could use that row as our control. We added jello to that tray as well and put both trays in the fridge to set overnight.
In the morning, we found that all the rows had set except the row with the fresh pineapple which was still green liquid. This activity was kitchen science at its best. The kids ate the results just to be sure they were accurate!
We read about how pineapple has an enzyme that breaks down protein and therefore prevents jello from setting. We deduced that cooking the pineapple had broken down the enzymes or caused them to be inactive which allowed the jello with the cooked pineapple to set.
Strawberries do not contain bromelain and do not affect the structure of jello.
Edible Animal Cell:
This isn’t the first time we’ve explored science with the help of jello. A few years ago, we made this edible cell out of jello for one of the science units we were studying.
Learn Play Imagine has a super cool Glowing Jello Experiment.
Experiment with changes in matter with frozen jello sensory play from The Imagination Tree.
Momma’s Fun World did a fun experiment with jello egg science.
Kids Activities Blog offers a really great idea for teaching kids about turbulence on planes. This would be especially good for kids who either have a fear of flying or who have never been on an airplane. Science to conquer fears!
Teach Preschool offers a wonderful hands-on science experience with The Wonders of Bright and Colourful Gelatin.
Science Buddies has a really awesome centripetal force jello experiment. I actually wrote out the steps and considered doing this with the kids but it is a bit advanced for where my kids are at. It may be one we do in the future though.
This ice cream jello from Come Together Kids is so cute! I love the way she made the cups!
If you are looking for other fun and easy science experiments, check out The Sensory Science Book that will get kids excited about science!