Water beads are such a fun sensory experience and are awesome for open-ended play. If you have been reading Racheous – Lovable Learning for some time, you will recognise these from our Toddler Activities and post on Keeping Your Toddler Busy.
Water beads are teeny water-retaining polymers that are safe for play, but not recommended for ingestion.
Simply add water to a tub and sprinkle in your choice of water beads (they come in many colours – we used black this time)
It doesn’t take many because they swell from the size of a pin-head to the size of a marble in a few hours.
This post is part of the exciting 40 Days of Sensory Bin Fillers series, hosted by Little Bins for Little Hands. Click through to see the details of all the great ideas being shared!
Playing with them as they grow, alongside water play is almost as fun as the beads themselves!
After an hour, they grow considerably. I find some packets and colours grow at different rates and to different sizes. The black one’s tend to not grow as large but get to their largest quicker.
Once they grow to a decent size, you can add some simple parts for play. We added test tubes, measuring cups, a strainer and little craft mirrors.
Some other fun ideas include:
- Using them on the light table
- Including them in small world play
by adding figurines (animals, people, insects, dinosaurs)
- Add shaving foam
- Add goop (corn flour and water)
- Add paint and roll on paper
There are many more but those are the one’s we have tried. Don’t forget to follow along with the series here!
Add your water bead sensory play posts below!