Knowing Grae’s love of popsicles, my mom sent her home from the Okanagan with a couple of new popsicle mould sets the other day. While I knew she’d be excited, what I wasn’t expecting was for two new popsicle moulds to keep her happily playing in her rear-facing car seat for at least 1/2 of our 7 hour drive home. She was so engaged with them that Brad actually said, “Well I know what we need to bring on the plane to Kuwait.” (If you’re travelling through Germany in August and see a woman with popsicle mould parts clumsily falling out of her purse, that’ll be me.)
When we got home and I started thinking about fun play opportunities for the week, I thought it would be fun to try to set up a popsicle-themed pretend play station. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was making the pretend pops out of ice, but I wanted something a little different. Enter gelatine. With a fun texture that can be jiggled, squished, and crumbled, I knew it would be a hit.
To make the pops quite sturdy, I mixed up 3 packets of Knox unflavoured gelatine with 3/4 of a cup of boiling water, then added 3/4 of a cup of cool water once the gelatine had been dissolved. I popped a few drops of liquid food colouring into each of my popsicle cups, poured the gelatine mixture in, mixed it up, and put the faux popsicles in the refrigerator over night.
This morning while we were preparing breakfast together, Miss G immediately noticed the rainbow coloured popsicles in the fridge and asked if they were for playing with. Let me tell you, this girl doesn’t miss a thing. She patiently waited until after our morning outing, lunchtime, and her nap, and I had this little set up ready ready for her when she woke up.
She was delighted to see it and immediately asked, “Are these just for playing, Mama? Or are they for eating?” With the fact that they were for playing with cleared up, she began naming the flavours – my favourite of which was tomato soup (the red one). Then she began doling out the treats in bowls with spoons, as she often likes her popsicles.
Next up, all of the popsicles went back into their moulds and got put into her pretend freezer. Then she took them out, one by one (with the help of a spoon and some serious shaking) as though she were filling customer orders.
For the customers who preferred to eat their frozen treats from a bowl rather than a stick, she happily crumbled the popsicles up. As you do.
There was lots of play with the popsicles in their smushed up state…
Then she moved onto making rainbow pops. Because I mean, who wants only one flavour when you can have several, right?
And then there was soup. Oh, was there ever. Soup stirred so enthusiastically that bits flew out of the bowl and landed in various spots around our living room.
I’d say pretend popsicles were a hit, wouldn’t you? A colourful, messy, joyful hit.