With summer winding down, I have been wanting to do more messy play activities while we still have the time. For this activity I "trapped" some penguins in some gelatin (I just used Knox unflavored gelatin and a couple of drops of food coloring). I gave Xander some tools and told him he needed to save the penguins!
At first he was a little hesitant about getting in and playing, but before too long he was digging in! I was not able to get a picture, but he cracked me up when he kept trying to use his foot with the spoon. I didn't understand at first, but eventually realized that he was trying to dig. A few weeks ago he saw me pushing down on the shovel with my foot while trying to move a plant in the garden. Amazing what they notice when you don't think they're paying attention!
After freeing all the penguins, he wanted to throw them back in. He also had me keep the whole bowl so he could play again a different day.
Once I was ready to have the penguins out of my fridge, I have him a bowl of soapy water and a bowl of clean water. He had fun cleaning off the penguins he "saved."
And then, of course, he threw them right back in the gelatin...