Water beads or water marbles are these amazing little super-absorbent polymers. They have traditionally been used by florists in flower arranging but in the last few years "water beads" have become THE must-have material for sensory play. Edible water beads (aka tapioca pearls) have also surfaced as the new "must-have".
If you haven't seen these water beads before. Here is a collage of how they work. Place the beads (which are super tiny) into a large bowl or container. Add 6 cups of water and watch them grow for 6 hours. Drain away any excess water. You can play with them before that time but they will continue to grow if more water is added. They grow to 150 times their original size. Amazing for kids of all ages to watch (not for the whole 6 hours).
The water beads become firm balls which are bouncy and slippery. You can also allow the beads to dry out and re-use them by adding water to the beads again.
There are plenty of activities you can do with water beads. The water beads are great in a large tray or container as a sensory material. Kids will love scooping, pouring, sorting, mixing and stirring.
We have also built a simple marble run for water bead races using household rolls, plastic containers and lots of masking tape! Despite how "homemade" it looks, both Mr 4 and Miss almost-8 enjoy racing the beads and watching them go from top to bottom.
The water beads have also found themselves in bath play where they are like treasure to be sought and scooped. Combined with some shaving cream and ice-cream creations were made.
Have your kids played with water beads? What do they enjoy doing with them?
These water beads were given to our family as a gift and were originally purchased from an Australian Company (Nic-Nac). This is not a sponsored post and I have not received remuneration for the comments made here.
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Hi, I'm Cindy and I am an Occupational Therapist. I enjoy working creatively with children to see them reach their potential. Read more about me here.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should be used for educational and entertainment purposes. The activities are safe for most children, however, you should consult an Occupational Therapist or health professional to address specific movement, sensory or other medical conditions. This blog does not replace formal therapeutic professional advice given by a health professional or medical practitioner. Reviews and endorsements of products will only be made based on my expertise and personal opinion; and deemed worthy of such endorsement. The opinions shared in sponsored content will always be my own and not that of the advertising company or brand. Content, advertising space or posts will be clearly identified if paid, affiliated or sponsored. Affiliate links may be found throughout this website in advertising. This means that if you follow through with a purchase from these links, Your Kids OT will receive a percentage of the sale. Your Kids OT undertakes to meet the requirements of the "Social Media Policy" as published by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Further information about this policy can be found here.
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