Making an Octopus Lunch & Fish Jello
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Fun Summer Activities for Kids by Beth Wise - How to Make an Octopus Lunch & Fish Jello

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Hi, I am Beth Wise for Scribbler's Ink, an educational resource company in Orlando, Florida. We have been talking about great summer activities for children. These activities have taken us today from the Arctic area to the ocean and to the lake and now we are here and we are getting hungry. So we are going to do some activities that are geared around summer fun and food. We are going to make a lunch today that will just tickle the kids to death. It's an Octopus Lunch and it has shark, jello and some fish treats on the side, so a lot of fun. So first of all, we are going to make an octopus hot dog snack. Now with the children I would always start with asking the kids about octopus and how many legs that they have and the kids that we have talked to had some great responses about the legs. Speaker: EightBeth Wise: But an octopus has eight legs. It's an ocean animal that walks on the bottom of the ocean with its eight legs or tentacles they are called. So we are going to start with the hot dog and we really are going to make this into something that looks like an octopus. You take your hot dog and you pretend that the top part of your hot dog is going to be the octopus's face. Now to do this I only need a couple of materials. I need a knife, some hot dogs of course and a nice solid cutting board. So I set my hot dog down and I am going to cut only from the mid section down for the legs, I need eight legs. So on the top of the hot dog I am going to cut three slits all the way through, there is one and that makes three slits. Three slits to the legs. Now I am going to turn the hot dog over and right in the middle from the mid part of the hot dog to the end, I am going to make one more slit. Now you have seen that I am using a sharp knife and if I am doing the cutting that's fine and I have a hard surface. I would love if the kids do the cutting too if they are old enough, they are five or six and they have good gross motor skills, I would let them do the cutting but I would take one of my plastic serrated knife and I would let them use that. Some of the hog dogs they will be able to do this just quite fine. So let the kids do the cutting if they are old enough, otherwise you are the one to cut. So I have cut my hot dog, my octopus and I have got his legs cut. When I put him into my pan of boiling water, the legs are going to start curling out and they are going to look very much like an octopus. So I am going to set my octopus on this stove for him to cook for just a minute or two and I am going to go on to the next part of my lunch which is my shark or fish jello. For my shark or fish jello, I am going to use already prepared blue gelatin. This happens to be raspberry gelatin and it's already pre-made. So whichever gelatin you use just follow the instructions that are on the package for it. Go ahead and put it in the refrigerator. It takes about four hours for gelatin to firm and about two or three hours when it's mostly set, I take it from the refrigerator and this is what I am going to use with the kids. So I have got my pre-made gelatin, I am going to have some whipping cream and then I have either got to have some gummy sharks or some gummy fish. So I have got a container of gummy fish for the kids to use, so my gummy candy fish. These are sometimes a little tricky to find but if you go to the grocery store, any of the good grocery stores will have these and any of your candy stores will have these as well, so gummy fish. So your gelatin has been setting for about two or three hours, let's say its three hours, I take it out and it's pretty firm. So then I have the kids take some of the sharks or fish and with their clean fingers I have them put the fish down into the ocean water, that the blue gelatin resembles. So I am going to push two or three fish down here and then remember it's not completely set so that the fish will go right down into it and then set it back in the refrigerator for the rest of the time for the next hour or so, so it's quite firm. When the jello is firm and you are ready to eat, we talk about the ocean and talk about the blue color of the ocean water and if you are out in the deep ocean the water is very much like this turquoise color of our gelatin, but as the water comes into the shore and the fish come closer to shore, the earth creates the waves in the water. So just for fun, we are going to make some waves with our whipping cream. So I am going to make some ocean waves on top and we have got to have a couple of fish coming into shore. So I am going to put my fish on top and my gelatin fish dessert is ready to go. The other thing that I just love to do just for fun and to help to make a little bit more balanced lunchtime for the kids is to take some fruit and to cut them up into sea creatures. I have used a thinly sliced watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple also work very well for this, but I have used very thinly sliced watermelon and if you have some cookie cutters and you would like to use the cookie cutters, use the metal kind and just press them down on to your watermelon and cut the shapes. I was feeling a little creative last night so I took my watermelon, just wedges of the watermelon and the knife and I just cut some of the creatures. So I have got a couple of fish and a whale and my octopus. So now I am ready to set the plate for the children. Take your plate, you are going to put your octopus on there, you have got your octopus hot dog, you have got your fruit and you have got your shark dessert. This is a great fun summer lunchtime or snack for kids that they really will enjoy and have fun helping you prepare for them. So now let's go on to some other things that are great fun for summer too, that are going to take us outside and into the water. We are going to do first some giant bubbles, we did just some small bubbles, then we have made bubble art, but this time we are going to do some big bubbles in the pool. We are going to use some materials that the kids can blow, all different kinds and shapes of bubbles and then we are going to try our hand making a giant bubble that goes all the way over the top of one of the kids. Let's try it.