Play Brain Surgeon with a Brain Jello Mold

I picked up a fun jello mold the other day.  It’s a brain.  I mainly got it because I’m Left Brain Craft Brain, you know, and thought it would be fun for Halloween.  Then I realized how much fun this could be for The Babe.  So every other day we pull the brain out along with some new supplies!  Ice, baking soda, playdough…  You can use them for Halloween or Mad Scientist parties.  Or you can use them to actually learn a bit about the parts of the brain.  Either way, get ready for a lot of messy ways to play brain surgeon with a brain jello mold!

Play Brain Surgeon with a brain jello mold! Five messy and spooky ways to learn about the parts of the brain. Slime, Ice, erupting brains... Perfect for Halloween or Mad Scientist parties!

Play Brain Surgeon with a brain jello mold! Five messy and spooky ways to learn about the parts of the brain. Slime, Ice, erupting brains... Perfect for Halloween or Mad Scientist parties!

Please note, I have provided links for supplies as they are hard to find in stores and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no cost to you.

Play Brain Surgeon – Slime

First up is slime play with the brain jello mold.  Because I don’t know about you, but I always have assumed a brain is pretty dang slimy.  The Babe used the leftover slime from our Sunset Slime project (recipe included).  The amazing thing was that after a few hours, the colors had faded to a perfect shade of brain.

What you need:

Play Brain Surgeon – Ice

This one may have been the grossest of all the brains.  It was just ice play with a bit of salt and colored water.  But once that red water hit the bin, ewww…  Perfect for Halloween!!

What you need:

  • brain jello mold{affiliate}
  • bin to contain the mess
  • water
  • salt
  • food coloring
  • syringes
  • small containers for colored water
  1. Pour water in mold and freeze for 3-4 hours or until solid.
  2. Put out bowls of salt and colored water with syringes to play with and to help the ice melt faster.

Parts of the Brain and their Function

This is a great opportunity to teach older kids about the parts of the brain and what they do.  Lay out six different colors of play dough and talk them through the different areas of the brain.Human brain parts highlighted with clipping path

The brain is made up of distinct areas where various functions are processed and controlled.

  • Cerebrum:  Includes four parts called lobes.
    • Frontal lobe:  Manages decision-making, problem-solving, control of purposeful behaviors, consciousness, and emotions.
    • Parietal lobe:  Receives and processes sensory information from the body.  Manages comprehension and the process of letters becoming words and words becoming thoughts.
    • Temporal lobe: Manages visual and auditory memories, language, and some hearing and behavioral aspects.
    • Occipital lobe:  Controls vision processes.
  • Cerebellum:  Controls basic body functions such as balance, posture, and coordination.  Also called the “Little Brain” because it is believed to be the precursor to the human brain as it exists today.
  • Brain stem:  Controls essential life functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and heartbeat.

Also, I figured this is the best time to chat about that whole Left Brain Right Brain thing…  The brain is separated into two hemispheres: the right and the left.  Historically, scientists have believed that logical thought is controlled by the left side and creative thought on the right side.  But more recent research has shown that many processes tend to use both sides of the brain.  For example, mathematical thought was believed to be controlled solely by the left hemisphere.  But in reality, only fact retrieval and exact calculations are managed on the left.  Numerical estimation and other math deductive processes appear to require both sides of the brain.  Hmm…  maybe I need to rethink the name of my blog ;)

Play Brain Surgeon – Playdough

What you need:

  1. Press playdough into the inside of the brain jello mold.  If learning about the regions of the brain, follow my diagram above.  (Do not follow my example in the picture on the left.  Getting the colors in the right places was a curiously difficult, spatial awareness exercise that The Babe and I did not get right the first time!
  2. Carefully pull away the playdough from the inside of the brain.  Then place on the upside-down brain for support.  I used a balled-up dish towel to support the dough while I was moving it.

Play Brain Surgeon – Vinegar and Baking Soda

This is your standard science activity of baking soda and vinegar with a brainy twist.

What you need:

  1. Fill the brain with vinegar and freeze until solid 3-4 hours.
  2. Fill the bin with several cups of baking soda.  We used about 3-4 cups of baking soda to make it extra bubbly.
  3. Place the frozen brain in a bin of baking soda.  It may take a bit for the reaction to start, but once it does, there’s tons of foamy fun.  Be sure the brain is frozen completely or this activity will go really quickly as the vinegar empties into the baking soda and starts the reaction right away (can you guess that this may have happened to us?).

And yes, my daughter does have a jaguar costume on with her safety glasses.  She loves dress-up!  Plus didn’t I tell you this is perfect for Halloween parties ;)

Play Brain Surgeon – Jello

After all this play, we decided we were hungry :)  So we played zombies and ate some Jell-O brain.  And then played with the leftovers.


What you need:

  • brain mold{affiliate}
  • bin to contain the mess
  • 16 oz box Jell-O
  • gummy worms
  • spoons
  1. Make Jell-O according to package instructions and pour into mold.  Refrigerate until set.
  2. Once the Jell-O has set, dip outside of mold into a bowl of hot water to help loosen the brain.  After the brain has loosened around the sides (approximately 30 seconds), place the plate on top of the mold and invert to remove the brain.  If it doesn’t come out, repeat the hot water dip and invert again.
  3. Insert gummy worms into the brain or arrange around it on the plate.
  4. To play with leftovers, pour the brain contents into a bin.  Have towels ready because this is a sticky one!!

Hands-on Fun for Halloween

Looking for some fun Halloween activities to do with the kids? Try some STEAM! Join us as we explore all the favorite themes of October with STEAM Explorers like bats, and pumpkins, and spiders, oh my! Kids will love building a spider bot, exploring famous artists, making spooky sound machines, and more! You'll love the helpful standards-based learning, printables, and tools that make STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, & math) exploration easy!


Memories of Brains Past

We did this activity again after first doing it when my daughter was just 4. I can’t bring myself to totally replace the pictures, so here’s a quick walk down memory lane with my girlie. Thanks for humoring me!!

Whew!  Long post today, but this was literally the play that just kept on going.  If you have more ideas on ways to use one of these brain jello molds {affiliate}, let me know in the comments!

5 Messy Ways to Play Brain Surgeon Left Brain Craft Brain FB

65 thoughts on “Play Brain Surgeon with a Brain Jello Mold”

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  5. What a brainy activity! I can guarantee my teen even gets in on this one. Thank you soo much for sharing your genius ideas with us. This mold is priceless!!! Happy Haunting

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear this one is good for teens too :) Happy Haunting to you too!

  6. Delightfully gross. As soon as I get over my squeamishness, I’ll try to pick up this mold. I love the different colored play-doh to indicate the areas of the brain.

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  15. Just wondering (1) how long the slime takes to set up into the mold, and (2) how quickly it collapses once out of the mold? Trying to use this as a party activity. Thanks!

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Hi Eve. It doesn’t take very long to set, I think we just pushed it into the mold for 10 seconds or so. But it does start to spread out pretty quickly too. It looks like a brain for at least a few minutes, but you won’t be able to pre-set them before the party.

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  24. I was wondering if I could use a picture of yours in my new YouTube channel that I’m making. Please let me know soon, I just loved it so much and I thought it was perfect for the the channel I want to create!

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Hi Sam, unfortunately, I utilized purchased clip art to make the image and my license is not transferable. Sorry!

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  28. Ouu i never imagined my kids playing with Brain Surgeon , but that’s look cool, i will let my kid to play with brain surgeon so she can get attached with medical things and probably one day she will be a doctor , who knows , :)


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  30. This is awesome!! I’ve had to pull my son to homeschool him due to a serious concussion… we are all over brain study right now ;-) Thank you!

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