It’s getting hot out and that means one thing to me–water.
And snow cones, but mainly water! 🙂
I recently discovered water beads, and let me tell you, they are so cool! I had heard about them but no one told me they were completely awesome.
I bought this pack in the above picture at Walmart for $3.88.
Now, I know you are looking at this and thinking that is a rip off! I even thought so myself, but I wanted to try them so bad I didn’t really care with the price. I wanted to see if they were fun. The thing is the beads absorb water and sure enough makes hundreds of LARGE squishy beads.
To put the sensory activity together you’ll need:
-Water beads (you can buy colored ones online if you don’t want clear, I think they’re more expensive. Or you can just keep adding food coloring like I do.)
-Large cups–not the size I got!
-Large storage container bin to hold the beads
-Lots of water
Optional–small cups, spoons, and toys.
That is all you need. Pretty cool, and cheap right?
***Heads up parents! These beads take at LEAST 6 hours to get up to their normal size. So prepare your kids and tell them there is a wait process. I had a very sad 2 year old once she (and I) realized she couldn’t play with them when we thought.***
To start off:
Take your large cups and fill to the top with water leaving about 2-3 inches free.
Patiently wait for your beads to grow. It’s really fun checking on them every hour to see how much they grew over the hour.
If the beads have absorbed almost all of the water and you think they can get bigger, simply add more water to your cup. If there is no more room in the cup, transfer the beads into a larger cup or bowl. You can always dump water out if it’s too much.
Dump out the excess water if there is any and enjoy playing with your water beads.
I mean let your kids enjoy playing with the water beads.
It’s okay if you play with them, I did too.
They’re just too squishy to not touch them at least one time.
Your children can do so many things with these beads. Here are just a few ideas:
Counting the beads
Put them in a large bin or small pool and find small toys, coins, etc.
Put them in your swimming pool! This is great because they’ll never shrink as long as there is water in the pool.
The colors do run together after a few hours, so if you don’t want to end up with blackish/brownish/dark greenish water beads, it’s best not to mix colors.
We decided to go outside and play with them and had a blast with the warm breeze that day! We plan on playing with these outside every time this summer! It’s less of a mess because if the beads drop on the ground they’ll shrink back to normal size within a few hours from the hot sun.
How to store your water beads afterward:
-If you plan on using the beads frequently (like every day or so) keep the beads in an inch of water at all times.
-If you won’t use them for a while then you can take a cookie sheet and put your water beads on there. Make sure they aren’t on top of each other or they won’t shrink quickly and may start to mold after a while.
-If you used food coloring they color will go away each time you put them in water. So you’ll have to add food coloring every time if you want them to be colored and not clear.
If you’re looking for more fun things be sure to check out this easy 2 ingredient moon dough playdough.
Enjoy those water beads and let me know of any fun things you did with them! If you enjoyed this post you may want to check out 10 DIY Water Activities for kids