How to Make a Jello Aquarium in a Cup

by Virginia B. Hargrove

Jello Aquarium in a CupThe fish tank at the dentist's draws my kids like a magnet. They excitedly tell one another stories about each fish. Little kids...big imaginations.

As I waited through their appointments, I thought about a nifty way to put those active imaginations to work!

When we got home, we were going to create an edible aquarium in a cup! This is one "pet" you won't have to worry about!

What better way to celebrate National Jello Week February 12-18!

What You'll Need

• Clear plastic or glass containers
• A skewer or small plastic makeup paddle
• 2 cups lemon-lime flat soda
• 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
• 2 drops blue food coloring
• Small colorful candy for the gravel
• Fish shaped crackers, gummy fish, or other edible "ocean" critters

Get It Set Up

Blossom your gelatin. Isn't that a descriptive term? I expect to see those little granules open up into roses...or for this project into sea anemones. It means to sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 1/4 cup soda (or water), and let stand five minutes to soften.

Place 1/2 cup soda in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just to boiling. Add the softened gelatin, stirring to dissolve the gelatin completely over the heat, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the remaining soda and food coloring, and stir to combine. Pour the liquid into a bowl. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until partially set. You want it to be a little thick, but still mushy and movable but not watery. Fish placed in the middle of the aquarium should stay there. Check every 15 minutes

Create an Underwater World

Once your fish bowl "water" thickens, call the kids! Empty some "gravel" (colorful candies) into each container. Then gently spoon in the gelatin solution. Fill it up to the desired water level.

Now for the fun! Hand out a skewer or small make-up paddle to each child. Show how to use it to push candies into the "water."

Sit back and watch (or make your own) as they load up their cups. Use gummy worms for eels, stick fish or seaweed. Add gummy fish and top it off with a gummy life preserver.

Once your child's happy with the fish bowl, place it in the refrigerator until completely set. Then eat and enjoy!

Caution: Each time our kids raved about this project to their friends, we had to set up another fish bowl making day!

Do you have a project that seems to attract the entire neighborhood? Please share it with us.

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