One of Rosebud’s stocking stuffers this year was a bottle of water beads. I’ve been seeing these things on early childhood blogs for several years, but have never seen them in person. They always looked so cool and I’ve always wanted to try them, but never had the opportunity with any of my classes. Well, I finally got the chance to play with them with Rosebud and she loved them.
I’m a big fan of sensory play. We do a lot with play-dough, sand or just plain water. There are so many benefits to sensory play and it really captures childrens attention. These water beads are definitely a different sensory experience. The ones we have are a little smaller than the standard sized marbles. They start out about the size of a sprinkle. At first, I thought of a grain of rice, but I think they are even smaller than that. I love dessert and sprinkles was the first thing I thought of. Anyway, they are tiny, but they start expanding soon after you put them in water. I think they were at full size after soaking for about an hour.
I poured a bunch in the tub, added water and when it was ready, I brought it to Rosebud. She loved the different texture. They are squishy and slippery. They can fall easily and role all over the place which makes them more attractive to kids, but makes a bigger mess for us to clean up. I included little scoops and cups, so we did lots of scooping and pouring. We counted how many scoops would fill each cup. We looked through the water beads and discovered that we could see light through them. We saw them bounce off things in the tub. I added a large funnel. The opening was big enough so that one bead would fall through at a time. Rosebud had fun filling the funnel and watching them fall down.
I’m looking forward to playing more with the water beads and tying them into different themes. I also want to look for larger ones. Have you used water beads? What cool things have you done with them? Let me know in the comments.
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