Red Flags
An adult should work with the children when they are heating the water. Always use a good pot holder when working with hot items.

Questions to Ask
How do you know that something is a liquid? a solid?
What happens when you combine a liquid and a solid? Try mixing various solids with water. You might want to try salt, rice, or paper. Ask children for their suggestions. Are all the reactions the same? You might want to make a chart depicting each exploration.

Tips for Less Mess: Cover the work surface with newspaper, and keep paper towels and a garbage bag handy.

Science Connection
When the hot water and powdered gelatin are mixed together and then cooled, a gel forms. The gel is thermally reversible, meaning that it becomes liquid again at a temperature around 95oC.

To create stickers and to explore sticky glue

What You Need

  • 2 Tablespoons very hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • Bowl
  • Paintbrush
  • Craft stick
  • Cotton swab

    What to Do
    Have the children choose pictures from magazines or greeting cards. Ask them to cut them out, or cut out their own drawings from construction paper. To make the “glue”, heat the water in a microwave for about 20 seconds or use the stove. (See “Red Flags”.) Add the gelatin and stir. When the liquid water and the solid gelatin are mixed, a gel forms. Apply this gel to the back of the pictures using any of the listed utensils. Let the stickers dry.

    Gel: A solid that is jelly like. The gelatin particles do not settle out of the mixture; they remain dispersed.

    Liquid: Feels wet, takes on the shape of the container it is in. Liquids flow.

    Try This
    Make a rock sculpture using the “glue”. You might want to start with very small rocks.

    Allow the glue to remain uncovered overnight. What do the children think will happen? How do they think it will feel? What happens if it stays out 2 days?

    Try refrigerating it. What do they think will happen?
    Try the exploration using flavored gelatin. How will it be different from the unflavored?

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