Have you ever heard of water beads? It recently found out how wonderful they are for sensory play. After finding a packet in a local craft store I began posting a few images of Possum playing with them on the Laughing Kids Learn Facebook page, I became inundated with emails and messages from people wanting to know more. So here is a post to tell you all about having sensory fun using water beads.
Firstly, why is sensory play important for children?
Children learn from their senses. Even newborn babies begin life by using their senses to learn and make connections about the world. Providing our children with a variety of sensory related activities is a great way for them to have fun and increase their awareness. It’s also important to know that children learn best when engaged in hands-on activities.
Water beads offer children quite a unique sensory experience.
I simply purchased this packet from a craft supplier, however, you can purchase them easily from Amazon, see link below. You can also find them in clear, mixed colours or individual colour packs.
The water beads begin as tiny pin head sized balls of plastic. This small packet of 10g water beads was added to 1 litre of water and it basically absorbed all the liquid after 6 hours! Incredible. Although it does take a few hours, it’s great for children to observe over time.
Final result after 6 hours! The have completely expanded and absorbed all the water.
I strained any excess water and tipped out the jelly like balls onto a large platter, ready for play. Water beads feel like a firm jelly that are tough to break. Standing on one, however, would be enough to squish and break them.
It wasn’t long before Possum asked to put her foot into the water beads and feel the sensation. She giggled and giggled with delight.
I thought it would also be a great idea to add a few cups and tongs to add to her play experience. She loved the scooping, tipping and pinching the tongs in her many attempts to pick up the water beads.
We had a fabulous time playing with water beads and I highly recommend them for sensory play. It is suggested that it’s for children over the age of 3 + and it’s a good idea to stick to this guide as they do look good enough to eat. These particular water beads are non-toxic, however, it would be very important to maintain active supervision at all times during play. It’s more fun that way anyway. 🙂
Would your child enjoy playing with water beads?
The following items can be purchased through Amazon by clicking the image.
hello i love these thing just wondering were you got them???
Which country are you located? I might be able to track some down for you. They can be purchased are many art stores but if you’re in Australia you might like to try this website – http://www.wholesalewaterbeads.com.au 🙂
Denise Johnson says
If you look in any Asian grocery store, there is sago or tapioca seeds that you can boil up and colour, these work the same as the water beads but are completely safe for the younger children as they are food and the children love to play with it. Just be warned, they are very sticky. I am an early childhood educator and my nursery children 1+ LOVED the experience.
Oh Denise, thank you! I’ve heard about tapioca seeds and had them on my ‘to try’ list for awhile. Thanks for the tip. Much appreciated. Keep your eye out because I’d love to try this out soon. 🙂