mama scout lab e-course

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

{make} a reading stone

We love inventions and making things. Last year, we had a awesome co op session on simple machines and inventions and wanted more. So, we are working our way through Build a Better Mousetrap: Make Classic Inventions, Discover Your Problem Solving Genius, and Take the Inventor's Challenge. Buy the end of the book, you are supposed to actually invent a new mousetrap, which is ironic, because we just found out the best way ever to repel mice/squirrels from our attic. We are much more into the repelling than the catching or killing. (The trick is ammonia soaked rags in open jars - it worked overnight!)

This week we made a reading stone. This project was so easy and satisfying, I had to share. Reading stones came to Europe via the Middle East in the 8th century and were laid on flat print to enlarge the image for people who were far sided.

what you need
unflavored gelatin
hot water
small bowl

what you do
Make the gelatin according to the package. I used one package, added 1/4 c water to dissolve and then 3/4 c boiling water to completely dissolve. You can go a little short on the water because that will make the gelatin stiffer. Pour into a small bowl and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. When it is set, run hot water over the outside of the bowl and plop it out. Use a piece of plastic wrap over the image you want to read. That is it!


My kids loved not only the objective of the project, but also working with the gelatin. It sparked all sorts of ideas for them.We want to make homemade jello with fruit juice, gummi bears and just some more really thick jello to play with. How about homemade pore strips or an air freshener?



  1. Very cool!! Love it. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. It would be blurry. But it would also be really ha to pick up bc it is made out of jello.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Oh cool! I am pretty sure it would be blurry. You would need another lense to have a focused view.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


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