We Love Water Beads!
What are Water Beads?
You might not have come across water beads before, but we love them! They are tiny colourful beads that enlarge when placed in water into squishy balls that provide a sensory experience that children love.
How to prepare them
All you need to do is place them in a container of water for 24 hours and then drain off the water. (You need 1 litre of cold water per 5g bag). Kids love to watch them transform slowly in the water. Hydrate them in a clear plastic tupperware or storage box if you have one, as that is the best way to display the colourful beads.
Show them off
Make a simple light box by placing a larger storage container with battery powered string lights underneath your container of water beads. (Only do this once you have drained away the water and be careful to keep electricity away from water.)
What to do with them
Kids of all ages (yes adults love them too!) enjoy the look and feel of water beads. Their rich colour and smooth, squishy feel are really enticing and kids love to plunge their hands into them and enjoy the soothing sensory experience.
Some of our Kit & Caboodle Party Kits come with water bead activities. There is Dinosaur Slime in the Dinosaur Roar party, Unicorn Tears in the Unicorn Party, Candy Invention Room in Chocolate Factory and Dark Side water beads in the Star Wars Galaxy Kit.
We like hiding little prizes in them but you can also put little figurines in to create a mini world. Various containers and implements like spoons, sieves and tongs are great to play with and sort the beads.
Add shaving foam for more sensory fun (but beware it will be more mess!) The kids can observe them grow (when they absorb the water) and shrink (when they are left out to dry) and then grow again in water for some tangible science in action. They also bounce (which is fun but you might want to restrict this to only a few otherwise you’ll be finding them all over your house!)
What to do with them when you are finished.
When you are finished simply throw them away (they are biodegradable). While water beads are non-toxic please do not swallow them and always supervise their use with children. Ensure that before they are hydrated the tiny beads are kept out of reach of children as swallowing unexpanded beads could cause a blockage.
For little tots who are still in the putting everything in their mouth stage you could try making a safe edible version: