Make your own squishy and vibrantly colorful window gel clings using three kitchen ingredients. Taste-safe art and science activity for kids of all ages.
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Window gel stickers? Window jellies? Window gels? Window gel clings? There are several names for these squishy window decorations that my kids love to make for each season and holiday. How would you like to make your own window gel clings that are not only cute, but also taste-safe sensory fun for the littles? I thought so.
Now before you think I have gone too artsy on the Science Kiddo, just stay tuned. There is a ton of science your kids can learn from this. Plus it’s a great creative outlet and fun activity for you to do as a family! (For more creative process art check out Magic Milk, Blow Dart Painting, and Spin Art Spiderwebs.)
It’s really simple and only takes a few ingredients. Our window jellies turned out beautiful and fun, just in time to catch the sun’s warm spring rays in our window.
Four cups of boiling water (about 950 mL)
Six packets of unflavored gelatin (about 43 grams)
Googly eyes and/or beads, if desired
One large cookie sheet with a rim
Make Window Gel Clings
- Add gelatin all at once to the hot water. Use a whisk to stir to make sure it all dissolves. Spoon out any bubbles.
- Pour the mixture into the baking sheet. You want it to be about a quarter of an inch thick (½ – ¾ cm). It doesn’t have to be exact, but make sure it is level.
- Once the gelatin mixture has cooled a bit (10-15 minutes), invite the kids over. Have fun dropping food coloring into the gel and swirling it around with a toothpick. For extra flare, sprinkle glitter over the top or add a few beads or googly eyes. (Obviously, these can be a choking hazard to kids who are still putting things in their mouths. Use your best judgement with your own kids!)
- You probably only have about 30 minutes before the gelatin starts to harden, so don’t dawdle!
- When you are done decorating, let the gelatin harden for at least a couple of hours. Leaving it out uncovered overnight yields the best results.
- Once it has set, use cookie cutters to cut out shapes or cut out your own shapes using a butter knife.
- Use a spatula to carefully lift the gel shapes out of the pan. Don’t worry if they tear because you can simply mold them back together on the window. Stick them onto the windows and enjoy!
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*Please Note: I have had some readers say their gel clings were too wet or heavy and didn’t stick to the window. If this happens to you, simply leave your pan of gelatin out uncovered overnight and try again in the morning. If they are still too heavy, leave them again until the next day. Each day, water evaporates out of the gelatin, making it stickier and lighter, and more likely to stick to your window!
Turn It Into a Science Experiment
If you want to incorporate more science into this activity you could pour some water into a pan, drop colors into it, and compare how it behaves differently from the gelatin mixture. Then do the same thing with vegetable oil. (We did this in our Color Bombs experiment.) You could also observe how your window gels evaporate after a few days on the window, leaving behind paper-thin dry shapes.
Another way to turn this into an educational activity is to watch how the colors blend and mix together, making new colors. You’ll see how the colors continue to move through the gel until it’s completely dry. Show the kids how to use two primary colors to make a secondary color where they meet!
Note: You probably won’t be able to take these jellies off your window and put them back on more than a few times before they tear beyond repair. They are slightly more delicate than the window gels available at the store.