Sweet Pea is 4 years old.
From: This very fun sticky finger writing activity from Teach Mama has been on my to-do list since I first saw her post about it.
- 2 packets of gelatin dessert mix (Better known as “Jello”).
- Jelly roll tray.
- Foil. (Optional, but helps with clean-up.)
- Milk cap letters. (This file is a .pdf and require Foxit or Adobe Acrobat for viewing. See the Milk Cap Letters & Sesame Street Name Plates post for instructions on how to make milk cap letters or just cut the letters out of my milk cap letter worksheet. Teach Mama’s post also lists several places where you can download letter and word cards.)
- Cover the jelly roll pan in foil if you are using it to make clean up easier.
- Place all of the milk cap letters or alphabet cards face down on the table.
- Make sure your child washes her hands.
- Spread the Jello powder on the tray.
- Have your tot pick 2 letters and then choose the one she wants to practice writing.
- Instruct your tot to use her finger to draw the chosen letter in the Jello powder.
- When your tot notices that her finger is covered in Jello powder, suggest that she lick it to clean it off. :)
- Teach your tot how to lift and shake the tray gently to erase the last letter.
- Continue letting your tot choose letters and write them in the Jello mix.
- If you used foil to cover the jelly roll tray, you can easily fold it up and throw everything away when it is time to clean up.
Observations: Teach Mama made the brilliant suggestion to allow your child to choose which letter she wants to write. This was such a great idea! Sweet Pea loved getting to pick the letter and I don’t think the activity would have been as enjoyable for her without including this “choice” aspect.
As we progressed, Sweet Pea began asking me to show her how to write lower case letters and even asked me to spell out simple words for her to write in the Jello mix.
It would be an understatement to say that she absolutely loved this!
This activity would work well for all ages. If your tot isn’t ready for letters, you could use shapes. On the other hand, if your tot already knows how to write all of the upper and lower case letters, then you could let her practice writing simple words.
I highly recommend this activity for all tots.
Notes from the Trenches: Sweet Pea’s fingers were stained red from the cherry Jello for at least a full day after this activity. She was also on a sugar high for hours.
Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Frugal)