Mermaid Gel Bag: Prewriting Activity

This mermaid gel bag takes only a few materials and can be used for many learning activities!

While doing some spring cleaning in our hall closet I noticed that Aaliyah’s hair gel had a crack in the lid. Does this drive anyone else crazy? I can’t stand lidless things because 1. They seem like they’ll get dirty and 2. No lid + toddler = mess. I put the bottle in my trash pile until I remembered some of the gel bags I had seen posted on Instagram and Pinterest. After finding a ziplock bag in the cabinet, cracked lid gel turned into mermaid gel bag!

*sorry about the photo quality on these pictures! It’s so hard to take nice pictures with the bag reflecting and wrinkling- it definitely looks prettier in real life!*


  • Hair gel
  • Ziplock bag
  • Tape
  • Coins
  • Small plastic fish
  • Small chalkboard
  • Chalk

Filling Your Mermaid Gel Bag

Only half of the bottle of gel was left but it was enough to fill the bag. You want to add just enough so that there’s a thin layer of gel when your bag lays flat. If there’s too much gel you won’t be able to write in it.

You can just put your gel in a bag and call it a day, but because this was a part of our magical creatures theme I added in some mermaid objects as well. Use simple items that are easy to wash, we added 3 nickels, 3 dimes, and the small ocean animals from one of our sensory bottles.

Once your gel and your items are inside of your bag, carefully squeeze al lol of the air out and seal it. Then tape it securely to your surface. As I taped I smoothed out the bag as much as I could to make it easier to write with.

Mermaid Gel Bag Activities

There are so many ways your toddler can learn with a gel bag!

1. Pattern Making: Have your little one find the mermaid treasure aka your spare change 😉 I had her find the coins and line them up in different patterns like nickel dime nickel or nickel nickel dime. You can also incorporate the animals and pattern them with the coins.

2. Line the Animals: Carefully moving the animals throughout the gel “ocean” is a great way to work on fine motor skills. It’s a little trickier than you think to get the animals to swim into a line!

3. Write: Using a small chalkboard from the dollar store I drew out the letter A and some basic shapes. Using her finger she drew out the letters and shapes in the gel. If you think your little one will push too hard on the bag, a q-tip can also be used to make the lines in the gel.

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