Lab Test Centerpiece

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Lab Test Centerpiece
Total Time 1 hour Ages school-age

For your next mad scientist's blast, create a freakily fun (but not edible!) centerpiece by suspending plastic toys -- critters, doll parts, and any other weird bits and pieces you've got lying around -- in clear gelatin.

What you'll need

  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 8-inch heat-proof bowl
  • 12 packets clear gelatin (we used Knox brand)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Small plastic toys
  • Plate or cake stand
  • Paper and markers
  • Tape
  • 2 wooden skewers

For an edible version of this lab test gone awry, make the centerpiece with gummy candies and flavored gelatin.

How to make it

  1. Pour the boiling water into the bowl. Add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves.

  2. Stir in the cold water. Refrigerate for one hour.

  3. Add the heaviest plastic toys (the ones that will sink to the bottom) to the gelatin and return it to the refrigerator. After 45 minutes, gently push the lighter toys into the half-set gelatin. Return the bowl to the refrigerator for at least 4 more hours, or until the gelatin is very firm.

  4. To release the gelatin from the bowl, set the bowl in very warm water for 2 to 3 minutes (but do not submerge), then turn it out onto a plate or cake stand.

  5. Make a "Caution" sign with the paper and markers, tape it to the skewers, and insert them into the gelatin.

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