Jesus and Jell-O: A Sky Jell-O Tutorial

Make these adorable Sky Jell-O parfaits!

We piled onto the couch earlier this week to read our book, Jesus Returns to Heaven, in preparation to celebrate the Ascension this week.  My kids wasted no time in asking, with excited, baited breath, if we could make Sky Jello again.  It is amazing how bringing the taste buds into the learning process makes for lasting memories.  The boys recounted our past adventures with this rare treat called Jello.

Last time, my nutrition-nutty self went all out and made our jello with 100% fruit juice and just a smidge of food coloring.  In the craziness of our season, we opted for the easy road this year and I bought the Berry Blue Jell-o.  You would have thought it was Christmas around here as I don’t allow food-dyes into our home often.

So I decided to share our process with you for making “Sky-Jello”.

JESUS AND JELL-O Make these adorable Sky Jell-O parfaits while learning about Jesus's ascension to heaven!

  1. Collect your materials!
    1. Berry Blue Jell-o (for our family of 6, we used two boxes)
    2. Whipped Cream.  You can buy whipped topping or make your own.  I prefer to make my own. (To do this simply add 3/4 cup of whipping cream to a mixer and whip until soft peaks form.  Add 2 TBS of sugar as peaks begin to form. Stop when this happens or you’ll make sweet butter instead. ok, we whipped ours too long and had to make a second batch.  So trust me on this one.)
    3. Some kind of clear glass or plastic cup.
  2. Follow directions to make Jello.  We did the quick-set method because we didn’t want to wait hours for the jello to be ready.
  3. Make whipped cream (or be sure your whipped topping is defrosted and fluffed up).
  4. With a spoon stir up jello so it is all broken up.
  5. Spoon out enough jello to cover bottom of glass.
  6. Carefully spoon some whipped cream into one side of cup and smoosh it against the side. This will give the “cloud look” that we are shooting for here.
  7. Cover with more jello.
  8. Repeat with making a cloud on the other side of glass.
  9. Sit on your hands or do whatever necessary to let your kids do this without you taking over…
  10. Enjoy right away or chill for later.

JESUS AND JELL-O Make these adorable Sky Jell-O parfaits while learning about Jesus's ascension to heaven!

If you are into video tutorials, we enjoyed this one that we found. {Just don’t watch it while making homemade whipped cream.  That was our mistake and I whipped the that cream straight into butter instead.}

Hands-on Discipleship Moments: Ideas for Celebrating the Ascension

Here is a beautiful hands-on way to disciple your children and point their eyes towards Jesus. Celebrate and Learn about the Ascension! {crafts, food, and discussion ideas!}
Celebrating Christmas gives us faith; it affirms that our beliefs have roots in the historical fact of the incarnation.
Celebrating Easter gives us assurance; it affirms that Christ wiped away our sin by his great sacrifice and triumphed over death.
Celebrating the Ascension gives us hope and points us toward transformation; it affirms that we can become more and more like Jesus is right now….Without the ascension, we might look around and forget that Christ is the ruling Lord of this fallen, broken world….not just that he will reign when he comes again or that he did reign over death, but that he is reigning right now.”

Gary Thomas penned this in his amazing book, The Beautiful Fight: Surrendering to the Transforming Presence of God Every Day of Your Life.  I was reading it several years ago in the weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday and knew right then that I wanted to take time to introduce my children to the wonder of the Ascension.  We love to spend a few weeks building up to Easter and it just seemed to be a natural progression to continue on and celebrate the Ascension (that occurred 40 days after the Resurrection) and then Pentecost (10 days after Jesus ascended)…

Jesus conquered sin and death at the cross and resurrection and He will come again and reign.  But He also reigns here and now.  As Gary Thomas continues, we can participate in the spread of his reign now by “surrendering to his dynamic, life-transforming presence within us, by letting him change the way we see, think, feel, hear, speak, and serve.  It’s the life of Christ in us, continuing his work, exercising his reign, manifesting his presence.”

Focusing on the ascension of Jesus can help us to recapture the dynamic reality of Christ manifesting himself through us!

With that in mind, here is some hands-on inspiration that we’ve utilized to to communicate the glorious nature of the ascension and cultivate in my children an appreciation for and understanding of the ascension.

With young children you want to start by focusing on understanding. Don’t try to tackle ALL of these ideas…  With older children or over a period of a couple of days you can venture into some of the application of Christ’s reign here and now! I found this information on the history of the church celebrating Ascension Day interesting.

Read, discuss, create, savor…

Explaining and Celebrating the Ascension to Children

Key themes you can emphasize:

LOOK UP (anticipate His return) and LOOK OUT (how can we share the Good News)

 

  • Read Acts 1:1-11.  Review how Jesus spent 40 days with his disciples instructing them and opening up the scriptures to them in light of his death and Resurrection.
  • Jesus Returns to Heaven {an ARCH book}Read the ARCH book,  Jesus Returns to Heaven - a book with beautiful illustrations and rhyming text that tells this account or you can check out  correlating accounts in The Big Picture Story Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible.  (We love ARCH books. They were favorites in my childhood home and my kids now love them too!)
  • Count out 40 days on our calendar to the ascension, starting on Easter Sunday. The Ascension is historically celebrated on the Thursday 40 days after the resurrection.
  • Talk about the Great Commission.  We have a job to do!  If you have the book, I’ve Got a Job to Do, read it.  It is a wonderful picture book that helps kids connect and build excitement for carrying out the Great Commission! Discuss with the kids about what this can look like for your family!  How can each of you carry out the Great Commission in your local community?  What can you do as a family to support the work of the Great Commission being carried out world-wide? We plan to possibly take another #EndBiblePoverty Challenge this summer.
  • Read Revelation 1:7 in addition to reviewing Acts 1:10-11.  Discuss how Jesus will return again the same way he ascended.
  • Go look at and admire the clouds.  Talk about heaven.  Talk about the return of the KING!

skyjello

  • Make Sky Jello - If your kids are anything like mine, eating a rare sweet treat like this is sure to loosen them up and provide opportunities to review what you’ve discussed! My Sky Jello tutorial is here.
  • Jesus Ascending Craft – Do the below presented craft.  One year, we made it from supplies I had around here and creative energy I had available.  Another year, {hello pregnancy} I was running low on energy and simply ordered a set from Oriental Trading Company that first gave me the inspiration for this craft.  Isn’t it nice to have options!?!?!
  • Dramatize the story.  Gather your legos or little people and have your kids recreate the scene.  They can use the craft they just made!  This will help them make meaningful connections that will really last!  It also gives you a glimpse into what they understand or maybe don’t.

Ascension Craft Tutorial

To mark the ascension which occurred 40 days after Easter (that would be Thursday, May 14th this year), we made this craft so they can re-enact that wonderful event.  We had so many beautiful conversations about Jesus, the ascension, His return and Heaven in the weeks following this craft last year!

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Blue cups or cups covered with blue construction paper (or possibly painted).  We went the construction paper route.
  • Cotton balls and glue.
  • Ribbon, yarn or thin strip of white tulle or whatever you have on hand.
  • Jesus paper figurine.

Jesus-Ascending

>> Start by letting your kids play with the cotton balls and gently pull them apart to make fluffy clouds.

>> Next let them spread glue on their cups.

(This is the favorite part of the craft in our home…  Glue is almost as cool as fire.)

>> Poke a hole through the top of your cup.  Depending on your children’s ages/temperaments and your mood this might be a mommy job.

>> Thread the tulle/ribbon/yarn through the hole-punch and then poke it through the hole in the cup. 

>> The idea is that you can pull the string and ‘lift’ the Jesus figuring up into the clouds.  Let them play and dramatize the story for you over and over and over again!

A Time to Hold and a Time to Let Go

TimetoLetGo-blog

As dusk approaches, my oldest and I slip out to the trail behind our new home for a stroll. The birds chirp as a slight breeze rustles through the trees - music to my ears. He looks at me with a special smile and grabs my hand. Both of us are lost … [Continue reading]

Rainy Day Art and the good/bad of moving…

imagination

Rain pours down.  We are former desert dwellers and still get giddy at the sound of the pitter-patter, so we head outside with newly unpacked umbrellas to run and romp in the rain, explore muddy ravines, and make all kinds of observations on our … [Continue reading]

An Easter Devotional for You {COUPON CODE ALERT}

    So I'm on blogging break because I'm packing like a mad-lady, but I had to pop in and share about this really quick. The weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter) are some of my favorite - not only when I was a girl, … [Continue reading]

Why We Stopped Homeschooling >> BIG CHANGES

dallasmove1

Change is inevitable. Sometimes it is incremental and sometimes it is dramatic. For our family change is coming in epic proportions. (But then, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know that.)  It is a wild ride right now and I'm praying for … [Continue reading]

Expectations are my nemesis, but I dealt them a blow.

walk

Expectations… I have a lot of them, especially at the start of new seasons. I’m a dreamer, a visionary. In my head I play out how life is going to go and then I plan accordingly. It works, sometimes.  But usually I’m left a little frustrated … [Continue reading]

Destination themed gifts and the value in giving experiences instead of more stuff…

GiftofExperience

Do your kids need more stuff? Yep, mine don't either.  In a culture bent on buying the latest, greatest toy or gadget, we have the powerful opportunity to rethink gift giving and set a tone in our home that is counter-cultural. That's why we've … [Continue reading]

5 Great “Faith-Building” Chapter Book Series for Boys

FaithBuildingChapterBooks

Books make such wonderful gifts.  But for active boys, the element of adventure is paramount. These books are certainly not for boys only, but for any child that loves adventure! Finding good books that inspire our children is high on my priority … [Continue reading]

6 Beautiful Picture Books that I’d Love to Own!

picturebooks

As Greta is getting older, we've enjoyed reading more and more picture books.  As I wrap up this series on 31 Days that Inspire Learning (only 2 more to go!), I thought I'd share 6 books that we've read several times to the boys that I found at … [Continue reading]