Space Jell-O

Activity Instructions

Make your very own edible space out of Jell-O to see how invisible space bends around different kinds of matter.

What You'll Need

The Materials

  • 2 (3oz.) boxes of light-colored Jell-O 
    (The experiment works better with light colors used in flavors like peach, lime, and lemon.)
  • A variety of seasonal fruits and nuts in different sized (see suggestions)
  • 1 glass bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing spoon


materials for activity including a bowl, spoon, jell-o mix, gelatin, measuring cup, marshmallows, jellybeans, and other candies

Suggestions for Fruit, Nuts, and Candy

Here are a few suggested fruits, nuts, and candies to use in this activity. You don't have to buy all of these, but try to choose ones that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

  • 1 walnut (in the shell)
  • 1 Brazil nut
  • 1 grape
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 apple
  • 1 plum
  • 1 large marshmallow
  • 1 green or blue peanut M&M
  • 1 licorice jelly bean
  • 1 Skittle
  • 1 Whopper
  • 1 Milk Dud
  • 1 gumball

What does this stuff represent? 
Why are we experimenting with Jell-O, fruit, nuts, and candy? It's not just because they're delicious! In this activity, imagine that the bowl of Jell-O is space and the pieces of fruit, nuts, and candy are planets, stars, and other objects in the universe. Just like matter in space, the fruit, nuts, and candy come in different sizes and masses. Once you've selected your fruit, nuts, and candy, separate the ones you think have very little mass from the ones that have a lot of mass. Are the biggest "stars" and "planets" always the ones with the most mass?

What To Do

Prepare the Jell-O


Boil two cups of water in the microwave or on the stove. (REMEMBER: Always have an adult present when using the microwave or stove and when handling hot liquids.)

placing measuring cup of water into microwave

Empty the two boxes of JELL-O powder mix into a clear glass bowl.

pouring packs of Jell-O powder into a bowl

Add the boiling water to the JELL-O mix.

pouring boiling water into bowl with Jell-O powder

Stir until the powder is dissolved.

stirring the mixture

Refrigerate the JELL-O for four hours until firm.

placing bowl of Jell-O mixture into a refrigerator

Experiment with "Space"


Place the bowl of JELL-O on a table.


One at a time, place the different fruits, nuts, and candies on top of the Jell-O.

Each time you place a different object onto the JELL-O, watch through the side of the bowl. Observe how the JELL-O "space" bends around each "star" and "planet."

placing a marshmallow and a peanut M&M on to firm Jell-O in bowl

Cut the pieces of fruit in half and place them on the JELL-O. Notice how the JELL-O responds differently.


Try rolling a few objects across the Jell-O.


Record your observations. Be sure to answer the following questions:

  • Which object caused your JELL-O space to bend the most?
  • Which caused the least amount of bending?
  • Did the larger objects always cause the JELL-O to bend the most?
  • What happened when you rolled an object across the JELL-O?

You've just witnessed a scaled-down version of bending space. Einstein would be proud! Reward yourself by digging into your edible space.


Big Doesn't Always Bend More Space
Remember, the amount of mass an object has doesn't always depend on its size. Even though a marshmallow is larger than a peanut M&M, the marshmallow has less mass or less stuff inside of it.

Try This!

If you like JELL-O fruit salads, make one by following the recipe above and adding slices of fresh fruit before you refrigerate the JELL-O. When you take your JELL-O fruit salad out of the refrigerator, notice the way that the JELL-O bends around the fruit. This is the same way that space bends around planets, stars, and you!