Multisensory Gel Bag or Board

Senora Schlatter was my Spanish teacher in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. She was amazing and was one of the biggest influences on my own teaching style. The first two years, our group was small, and we learned colors and numbers with a game called Lo Tengo (which was actually Bingo. Well, it literally translates to "I Have It.") We learned the Spanish names for the items in the room with labeled index cards--la silla (the chair), la mesa (the table), el lapiz (the pencil), etc.  It was so much FUN to learn Spanish. (Learning Spanish that early also helped me a lot in Spanish classes all the way through college.)  But, this post isn't about Spanish.

Flash forward to reading tutor me.  I have found that keeping kids engaged, the way Senor Schlatter did, is key to keeping them learning. If you have a preschooler at home, learning should be about play and fun anyway.

And this gel board is fun.

Multisensory Gel

I have seen many versions of this gel board online, and I instantly fell in love with it when I saw one.
I had purchased a similar item from an online store for teachers a few years ago, but it just never quite worked the way I wanted it to. (And, it cost much more than the one I made.)  My preschool phonics students have particularly loved this.  It's a fun way to learn to write letters (or for making fun patterns!)

I made mine a bit sturdier than you may need to make yours.

Here's what you'll need to make the simplest version of this:

a zip top reclosable freezer bag (or a sandwich bag for a small one)
hair gel
food coloring
packing tape

Get some dollar store hair gel, put some in a reclosable freezer bag, add some food coloring, and close it up. (Remove as much air as you can.)  Seal with some packing tape.  Now, that's easy, especially for temporary, supervised use.  I mean, who knows how this would hold up over time to sharp fingernails or curious preschoolers?  But, quick and fun for sure.

To make the version in the photo: 

I bought some foam board at a craft store.  I cut it into a square, several inches bigger than my freezer bag.  I taped the freezer bag to the foam board and covered it with a sheet of clear contact paper (before filling with the hair gel.)  Next, I squeezed the hair gel into the bag and added a few drops of food coloring. I then sealed the edges with some fun duct tape. (I found most of these items at the dollar store.)

And, yes, mine looks a bit funky now.  The contact paper does crease over time... But still fun!

How will you use yours?

Linking to:

Create with Joy
Skip to My Lou
Farmhouse 40
The Pin Junkie
The Crafting Nook
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Sew Can Do
Dare to Share
A Pinch of Joy
Intelligent Domestications
LouLou Girls
SITS Recipe and DIY Linky
Hope Studios
Brag About It
I Gotta Create
Sweet Sensations
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner
Wonderful Wednesday at Marilyn's Treats
Home Matters Linky Party at Life with Lorelai


  1. Well that's pretty cool! I have a preschooler. He goes to school four days a week and he's in love with the multisensory items at school. I think he'd do marvelously with this!

    1. I think he'd love it! I never thought to do this when my own kids were preschoolers!

  2. I am showing this to my daughter! What a great idea for my two little granddaughters. It sounds like you had such a wonderful teacher so many years ago. You hope that every child has teachers like that, don't you? Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

    1. Thanks Chloe! It's such a fun, simple thing to make, especially in the simple bag form, yet provides such fun and learning. And, yes, teachers like that are such gems. Thank you for hosting!

  3. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday. :)

    1. Thanks Dee! Thanks so much for hosting Merry Monday.


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