Jelly Stones


Watch as these amazing chips of rock absorb 200 times their volume of water. These safe polymers grow from the size of a small pebble to large stone in a matter of minutes and can be used again and again. The kit comes with three different Artist’s primary colors to mix and create custom hues of Jelly Stones.



Add 4 cups of water to each bag of Jelly Stones. They will absorb water whether they are stirred or not. You can mix them together before or after they are made, but the change is more dramatic when you grow them first and then mix them. Let them get about 90% dry then store them in a sealed container to reuse.


You can vary the size of your finished Jelly Stones by changing the amount of water you use. The range that you can use varies from 1 cup to 5 cups.



  1. Put ¼ teaspoon Jelly Stones in 4 ounces of water. Wait four hours. What happens?


  1. Try different water temperatures. Hot water will speed the absorption process. When water is hot, the individual molecules are moving more quickly. Since they are moving faster, they move into the tiniest spaces in the Jelly Stone polymers faster.


  1. How big can they get? Submerge a few Jelly Stones in a full glass of water. Wait about four hours. How much did they expand? How do they look?


  1. Put a saturated Jelly Stone on a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb the water from the Jelly Stone. How long does it take the Jelly Stone to lose the water and change back into a small pebble?


  1. Experiment with combining different colors of Jelly Stones before and after you add water. Which method has the most dramatic color change? Which method allows for the most control on the colors that are created? Try mixing Aquamarine and yellow Jelly Stones. What color would you predict you would get? Try mixing Bright Ruby and Aquamarine. What color do you predict?


  1. Put 1/8 teaspoon Jelly Stones in a full glass of water. While the polymers are absorbing water, stir so that the Jelly Stones move with the water. Stop stirring. The Jelly Stones will gather in the middle of the cup as they stop moving. Now watch closely—the Jelly Stones will begin to spread out on their own along the bottom of the cup until there is approximately the same distance between each.


  1. Dry Jelly Stones are colored. Do they retain their color when fully grown?


Atoms and Bonding

Atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Two or more atoms bond together to create a molecule by sharing electrons. If the electrons are distributed evenly throughout the molecule, it creates a non-polar molecule. If the protons and electrons are not evenly distributed, this makes the molecule polar. Like a magnet, the molecule has a side that is more positively charged (with more protons) and a part that is more negatively charged (with more electrons). Polar molecules tend to bond only with other polar molecules, and non-polar molecules bond with other non-polar molecules. For example, water is a polar molecule, and oil is non-polar. Therefore, oil and water do not mix. Anything that dissolves or gets wet in water is polar, and anything that does not is non-polar. Likewise, anything that dissolves or gets wet in oil is non-polar.


Jelly Stones are made of a special polymer that is polar, so they mix with water. Not only does it mix with water, it also absorbs more than 200 times its mass of water.


Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a non-polar molecule




Water (H2O) is a polar molecule


A polymer is a group of molecules that are linked together. Polymers can be many shapes, and the shape of the polymer determines certain characteristics including the amount of water it can hold. Jelly Stones are classified as linear polymers. Their structure allows a large amount of water to be absorbed and the Jelly Stone becomes flexible enough to expand. The once hard substance can even be broken into many pieces.


When Jelly Stones are fully grown, they become clear. This is because they are 95% water. With so much water in them, the coloring of Jelly Stones becomes trivial. This gives Jelly Stones the ability to “disappear.”


The colors of the Jelly Stones are pigments that subtract all the colors of white light except the color that is reflected to your eye. Notice the subtractive color wheel below. When aquamarine and yellow Jelly Stones are mixed the resulting color is close to green. When Bright Ruby and Aquamarine Jelly Stones are mixed the color is close to purple. When all three Jelly Stones are mixed the color is darker but not black. This is because the colors of the Jelly Stones are fairly diluted because they consist of more than 95% water.


Fun Facts