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Under the Sea
Jellyfish are fascinating, beautiful and sometimes deadly. They are found in every ocean, at both the ocean surface and at deep water depths. Find great non-fiction books for kids about jellyfish, including Floating Jellyfish by Kathleen Martin-James and Jellyfish, an Early Bird Nature Book.
Write a report on jellyfish and make one of the fun crafts below to go with your report. The gelatin jellyfish is a fun, temporary exhibit, perhaps doubling as a tasty snack. The paper plate jellyfish is more permanent. Just don't touch the licorice tentacles. They might sting you!
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Mix the gelatin
In a 5-cup bowl, sprinkle 4 packages unflavored gelatin over 1 cup cold water. Allow it to stand for one minute to soften the gelatin. Add 3 cups boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Cover the gelatin with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Chill for four hours until firm.
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Create Your Jellyfish
Remove the gelatin from the refrigerator. Fill your kitchen sink with 2 inches of hot water. Place the bowl in the hot water for thirty seconds to release the gelatin from the bowl. Invert the bowl onto an edged tray or platter and tap lightly on the bowl. The gelatin mold should release onto the tray. This rounded gelatin mold forms the body of your jellyfish.
Use your imagination to decorate the jelly fish. Lay licorice ropes on the tray in a squiggly pattern extending from the jellyfish. These are the jellyfish' tentacles. Place candy dots or cake decorating sprinkles on the jellyfish to add color. Or, insert food coloring into the gelatin with a long, plastic eye dropper. The coloring slowly spreads as the gelatin melts, creating a science experiment on color mixing. Create a seascape by wrapping the tray in blue cellophane. Tape the edges underneath the tray to secure the cellophane. Add fish-shaped fruit snacks for under-the-sea friends. Cut green fruit leather into strips to resemble seaweed.
Make the gelatin with fruit juice instead of water for a tasty snack. Serve it to your class after your report.
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Make a Paper Jellyfish
Paint the underside of a paper plate (not the foam kind) with watercolors or tempera paint. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Fold the paper plate in half with the painted side out. Staple the rounded edges together so you have a half-circle. Cut 6 strips of colored tissue paper 1/2 inch wide by 1 foot long. Insert these into the open rounded edges of the paper plate and staple to secure. Glue sequins or glitter on the paper plate for added pizazz.
These paper plate jellyfish are a snap to make. Make enough for the whole class and attach strings to the tops of them. Hang them from the ceiling to transform the classroom into a dazzling underwater display.