Are you ready for some sensory fun!? Your child will have a blast digging through the Jello to extract the letters of the alphabet. If your child is working on a different skill such identifying farm animals or counting, you can put other objects in the Jello. In addition, this activity can be created in a different theme for any occasion, such as a frog for Passover or a heart for Valentine’s Day. We created the shape of a bunny for a Jello Easter Hunt!
Preparing the Sensory Activity
- After your child’s bedtime, you can mix up the Jello. Dump all three packets into a mixing bowl and stir in 4.5 cups of boiling water. Continue stirring until the Jello is dissolved. *Note* If you do not want your child possibly ingesting the sugary Jello, use unflavored Knox gelatin.
- Pour it into a nonstick 9×13 pan. If your pan doesn’t have a nonstick coating, just spray a thin layer of oil down.
- Now, put the eraser letters into the Jello (only one of each letter). Think about the shape of the bunny you are going to cut out for the Jello Easter Hunt in the morning. Be sure the letters are within the border you have in mind.
- Get your piece of card stock and colored pencils out. Write out the alphabet, with spaces between the letters. If your child is just beginning letter recognition, I suggest writing each letter in the same color of that particular eraser. This will help your child successfully match up the letters.
- The last part of the prep for the Jello Easter Hunt won’t need to be completed until morning when the Jello has fully set. With a knife, draw the outline of a bunny’s head. As you slice, throw away the extra pieces, leaving just the shape of the bunny in the pan (see the image above).
Dig into the Easter Hunt
Set out the pan, tweezers, spoon, and card stock with the alphabet written on it. Take one or two of the extra letters and place them in the correct spot on the card stock. Doing this will give an example to your child of what to do with a letter once they extract it from the Jello.
Let your child reach his hands right in and get messy. If he seems hesitant, you can make the first move and model that it’s okay to explore the sensory activity with your hands. Start by letting your child pull out a letter. If your child does not know their letters yet then state, “You found the letter T. Do you see its match over here?” For children further along in letter recognition, ask them to find the letter “H” hidden inside the bunny. As they pull out letters, talk about what words start with that letter or even the sound the letter makes. Once the Jello Easter Hunt is complete you can continue playing by dumping it all back in the pan and offering cups and bowls for scooping and pretend cooking. Add the letters back in and make an alphabet dessert too!
I hope you and your child have fun with this first Easter Hunt of the month. Parents and nannies, if you are looking for more alphabet learning fun, try these activities! In addition, check out our online class, Encouraging Curiosity and Learning Through Play. Remember that all nannies who are placed with a family through Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny are gifted three free online professional development classes. Reach out today at email@example.com.
About The Author
Kelsey Dickson has over 15 years of experience working with children as a nanny, preschool teacher, and now a mother. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education and is a Certified Potty Training Expert. At Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny she is the eLearning and Social Media Manager. Check out our online childcare classes, such as Baby Sign Language and Sleep Coaching 101! In her free time she enjoys gardening with her children, going for walks with her family, and discovering local wineries in New England.