Thursday, 2 February 2012

Wonderful Water Beads!

If you hang around the blogosphere for long (well, I guess with a kiddie/crafty/play-based learning slant) you will surely hear about Water Beads! If not? Allow me to fill you in... these amazing little beads, originally used in floristry, have become the big hit in sensory play for kids. They are just so.much.fun for kids... well, so I have seen and heard on line, but now I know for sure!


Pouring in the beads was fun

Oh so tiny!

They come all tiny and bead like... then just add water and let the magic happen! They swell up into slippery, squishy marbles that are just irresistible to touch! I bought them on eBay a while ago but kept forgetting to use them - so today I finally remembered to get them out for our Learning Time, and we had a blast! Sensory play is just so amazing for kids, I loved seeing Lily engage in touching and experimenting with the beads and coming up with different ways to play with them!


Trying to catch them

These magic beads pretty much kept the kids entertained all day! What with pouring them in, checking to see how much they had grown, standing in them, cooking with them etc etc - the possibilities seemed endless! Simply just running your fingers through their jelly-like little forms was a task in itself! While taking breaks to eat, sleep and run around inside, pretty much every other moment the kiddies were simply drawn back to the Water Beads - largely because of the novelty of course, but also because these simple slippery little things are so engaging!

Lily review? "I love them, they are good for pinching and squishing and they are very wobbly"


Water Play is always a hit!

Eli had a fantastic time too, especially putting them back in the water one by one, and seeing  them make that satisfying plop into the water! He just didn't want to stop playing with them! I made a conscious effort to try to stand back and let them lead the play and develop their own ideas without too many controls, ideas or interjections from me. It was great to see the ideas they came up with, like when a light came on in Lily's eyes and she said 'Mummy, I want to stand in there!!'.

Hard at work playing!

Pouring over and over!

Lily got the idea to stand in there!!

Enjoying the squishy sensations!

Precious toes - Kinda like grape stomping??

Some animals jump in for a swim, and cooking with beads too


After 4 hours they finally swell to full size!


Scooping up the squishy marbles!

At dinner time, Lily sweetly told me 'Thank you Mummy for getting us the fun water beads!' - You are welcome, sweet girl! Who would have thought some little beads could make such a full and fun day of games and memories and little delights!? It was great seeing how every stage from dropping in the beads, pouring in the water etc were all a fascinating adventure for the kids - and also the excitement (and patience) in waiting for them to swell up to their full size.

If you are interested in getting in on the fun, they are easy to buy online and are DIRT CHEAP - like seriously, I bought 10 packs (which made the amount seen in the tub here) for under $2 on eBay (with free shipping!).... I mean for that price, I am tempted to bathe in them!! Well, I know the kids want to! Just Google or hit up eBay and enter 'Water Beads' to find some for your own beady adventures.

Now we have finally got them out, we are looking forward to experimenting with different ways to play and engage with them. No doubt there will be more photos in the future! Sorry for the overload of photos today, it was hard to choose among all the different stages of play.











15 comments:

  1. Oh that is just excellent! More ideas for things to do with the kiddies at playgroup! :)
    This will go down ganbusters.
    Your little ones look so happy and excited, thank you for sharing.

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  2. What an amazing learning experience! Looks like a lot of fun was had all round :-) I will have to track some down for my little man to try. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. yes it was super fun - good luck finding some - they are all over ebay and im sure other places too!

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  3. What a cool idea! Do you know what they're made of? We had a rice and bean box my preschoolers always loved to dig in for sensory play, and this would be fun to add to our repertoire for the baby when he gets a little older.

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    1. hi Nicole, they are polymers made from silica gel - non toxic and all that (so ive researched/read!) - same kind of stuff that goes in a disposable nappy! (but nicer haha) Yes rice and beans are also awesome huh, Im sure your lil guy would love the water beads too when he is older!

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  4. Ah, I have seen this on one of the blogs I frequent...just had NO idea where to find them! I'm thinking perhaps this is what will keep bailey occupied tomorrow?? lol...

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  5. That is so cool, my little girl would love that. Need to check out ebay and see if I can find some.

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    1. yes good luck and im sure your little lady will love them!!! then you can post your pics :)

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  6. Ok, now I have to get them!
    I have seen them around but no one has quite explained them like you Kate :)
    Love all the photos and Lily's review. She is tops that little lady of yours :)

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    1. Amber Im shocked you dont already have them!! ;) yes they are super fun and my mind is already exploding at all the fun various ways they will be able to be used! I know what you mean, i had to look at a few different sites to really get a proper idea of how they would be used, how they work, how to store them etc! Your kids would love them :)

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  7. Those look awesome! It sure looks like your kids had so much fun. Will have to store this idea away for when my little fella is a bit older, I think he would try and eat them right now :)

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  8. Kate, what a fab idea! I might have to steal this for classroom use :-) Do you know if the water beads are reusable (i.e. does the water evaporate out of them so you can store and re-grow them)?

    It's so wonderful to see your precious little ones growing up - I can't believe it's been over a year since I have seen you all! I'll have to make a trip to Canberra once I get my P's!

    Lots of love xx

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    1. hey lovely girl! Yes - though i havent had the chance to try it myself yet, apparently you can just let them dry out and then 'refresh' them once again! you can also just store them wet and top up w bits of water over the weeks you know? so either option (though completely drying out would make them smaller!). Also you can rinse them off if they get a little too slimy over time. Plus the great thing is they are so cheap its not too bad to buy more if needed. Im sure ur kids would love them (also ive seen them be a huge hit for autistic kids in sensory play). MISS YOU heaps - yes pls come visit, we have a room waiting for you!

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  9. Wow these look like great bright coloured fun. My kids would love them, thanks for introducing them :)

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  10. One of the most appealing features of water beads is that they feel so cool to the touch. Little kids love to run their fingers through them as do adults if they were to be totally honest.

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