Hello to all you Somewhat Simple readers! My name is Laura and I am the new kid’s crafts contributor. Before I get started telling you about the fun gelatin eggs I made for my son, I thought I would tell you a little about myself. I recently left my career as a scientist to stay home with my little boy who just turned two. I now do all my experimenting at home and enjoy creating all sorts of things. I am a firm believer that you can figure out how to make anything using your brain and hands. I share this passion with my readers on my blog, The Experimental Home. Nice to meet you! Okay let’s get started.
When did stores start stocking Easter stuff? The day after Valentine’s Day? It seems like chocolate hearts turned into chocolate eggs overnight, right?. Since that day, my two-year-old son has been saying, “Big eggs!” or “Yellow eggs!” or “Buy eggs, Mama!” every time we walk past a display of plastic eggs. Even though it was still waaaay before Easter, I caved one day. I mean they were only $.99 a package, and he was soooo excited. I bought two packages, one for him to play with and a second to use as gelatin molds for even more egg-tastic fun!
To turn regular plastic eggs into gelatin molds, you need to poke a hole in the eggs to pour liquid gelatin through. I elected to put the hole in the bottom of the egg and mold the gelatin eggs upside down.
I used an little, old screwdriver and a lighter to make the holes. Note… some parts of this project are appropriate for older kids to help with, this part should be done carefully, by adults only. I placed my eggs upside down in a regular egg crate. I lit the lighter and stuck the screwdriver into the fire to heat it up. Once it was hot, I poked through the bottom of the egg turning it as I went to make a good-sized round hole, and then repeated for each egg.
In order to get stuff in the holes I poked, I made tiny funnels out of straws. I cut the straws to around 2 inch lengths and then made a small (1 cm) slit in the side of the straw. Folding back the corners on each side of the slit allows the straw to function as a funnel.
Before I could use these eggs as molds, I had to deal with the small hole around the top of the egg (as you can see above, there is one on the bottom too, but I didn’t worry about that one). I assume the holes are to prevent a buildup of pressure when you close the eggs. For this project, they are a pain in the you-know-what. I elected to cover them with electrical tape, working hard to seal the hole. You could also use duct tape or any other water-proof barrier. Honestly, a few of my eggs leaked. I had leaks through the tape, and leaks through the center seam. Next time I make gelatin eggs, I will be extra careful to seal the hole, close the eggs tightly, and may even tape around the circumference of the egg to reinforce the seal. I imagine that slightly better quality eggs than the ones I bought would work better.
Now that I had functional molds, it was time to make some gelatin. The gelatin I made is akin to super-firm panna cotta, and results in opaque eggs. You could certainly use j-e-l-l-o if you prefer, but I think it is easier to make multiple colors if you make your own.
For 1 dozen medium-sized eggs, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add 1 oz (1 box) of unflavored gelatin and stir until dissolved/melted. Remove pan from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 1/2 cup cold milk. Working with 1 cup of gelatin at a time, add 3-5 drops of food coloring, stir until combined, then pour carefully (my measuring cup with a spout worked perfectly) into the eggs through the straw funnel. Each cup of mixture will fill 3-4 eggs, depending on how neat you are. If your egg springs a leak, stop, clean up the mess, reseal the hole, and try again. Do not keep pouring or else you will have a big mess on your hands.
I try to do crafts and activities with my little guy often. Generally he enjoys himself for 10-20 minutes before losing interest. That was not the case with these eggs. He loved them. He played with them for an hour and a half, at least. Seriously. He unmolded them, then put them back in the plastic eggs. He squished, squeezed jiggled and bounced the gelatin eggs. He related the color of the plastic eggs to the color of the gelatin eggs inside and mixed and matched the colors. He took bites out of some eggs, and loved the sweet, creamy, vanilla flavor. He had a ball (or an egg, to be precise).
I hope you enjoy making gelatin eggs with your kiddos this year. Happy Easter!