Water Beads

 
 
 
Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!

(E was 27 months old.)

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You’ll need:



How it worked for us:

I’d read so much about using water beads for sensory play with toddlers and seen awesome photos, so when I finally happened across a package of them locally, I just had to buy them. E picked out the color, and off we went to try them out.

{Ours were ready to go, if yours are dry, you need to soak them in water for several hours before use.}

 

Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 
 
E LOVED it and had what was probably the most fun she’s ever had with a simple sensory activity.

She started out pouring them between bowls

 
Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 
 
but the real fun started when she first touched them with her hands. She giggled uncontrollably for several minutes while running them through her fingers.
 
 
Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 
 
From then on out, E refused all tools and just handled them with her hands in different ways.

E put them in a larger bowl to pick them up, put them down and let them roll around

 

Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 
 
Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 
 
then put them on the tray and rolled them around with her fingers and by tilting the tray.

Even Papa’s arrival didn’t distract her for more than a few seconds, and he was fascinated as well and started playing right alongside her. {The first thing he tried to do was show E how to bounce the beads off the tabletop… I saw it coming and managed to tell him to stop it just in time…}

 

Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 

I didn’t expect E to be able to squish the beads to the point of breaking but she sure was. She went through a bunch but once she’d broken them apart, she just left them, so I was fine with it and didn’t worry about anything bad happening.

In fact, she never seemed to even consider putting the beads in her mouth, either intact or broken.

 

Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 
 
Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!
 

A very few of the beads jumped off the table but it really wasn’t much, and E was able to get them all and put them back in the bowl when we were done.

 

Water Beads: An inexpensive, extremely fun sensory material that your child will LOVE!





What I learned:

  • E LOVED this activity, and at her request, we’ve played with water pearls almost daily since the first time we tried it.
  • The beads feel awesome on your skin, and rolling them around is fun – even for adults!
  • They are pretty bouncy but E really kept them under control quite well. We had very few strays that we were able to pick up during clean-up. I’d expected much worse {especially given E’s tendency to dump sensory materials on the table – she hasn’t done that with water beads so far}.
  • It was a real low-mess activity for us, clean-up was really quick.
  • As soon as the beads are damaged even slightly, they are much less bouncy.




Additional suggestions:

There are so many things you can do with water beads! We started slowly, just experiencing the feel of them but I already have lots of ideas for future activities:

  • Mix different colors.
  • Add some glow sticks and turn off the light.
  • Freeze them.
  • Place them in water.
  • Add shaving cream.
  • Add ice.



 

 

Have you played with water beads? Did your kids like it? Did YOU like it? Leave me a comment!

 

 

 

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