Creative Play With Water Beads

Creative Play with Water Beads

We discovered water beads last year at the county fair. We had never seen anything like them and were very impressed. Basically they are tiny, hard pellets in a small package and they grow when left overnight in water. At the county fair they used the beads to keep flowers alive since the flowers will absorb the water from the beads. We use them a little differently. Read more to see how...

You will need: 
  • Water beads 
  • Water
  • Containers
  • Cups
  • Scoops
  • Small toys
Before we begin, I wanted to mention the obvious. Always supervise children who are playing with water beads. Do not give these beads to any child who is still putting things in their mouth. Before playing with water beads, make sure your children understand that they are not to put water beads in their mouths.

Ok, now on to the fun! For my kids, part of the fun of water beads is watching them change. I filled a large plastic tub with water and added various colored beads. They start off very tiny, but pretty.

water gel beads

 After an hour, they started to get bigger.

crystal water beads

Overnight, the balls will continue to absorb water and then they will look like round grapes. I put the beads and some water into a container and gave my kids a scoop and some cups. Little C worked hard to transfer the beads to her cup without spilling any.

What I really love about water beads is that they provide such a fun sensory experience for kids. They are wet, slippery and squishy. They are also fun, so if your kid doesn't really like touching different things, this is a nice way to introduce them to a new texture. It's hard for kids to resist touching them. Heck, it's hard for adults to resist touching them. My husband and I often find ourselves running our fingers through our container of water beads and it's oddly relaxing.

My daughter "A" started sorting the balls by color. When I added some small toys to mix, she started pretending they were in a swimming pool.

Water beads for kids

These little friends are taking a bubble bath of course!

Magic Water Beads

Since water balls last so long (we have kept ours in water over one week and they lasted until we let them dry out), you will be able to use them for lots of other fun play. We decided to throw them in our water table one hot afternoon. The kids splashed, filled buckets with beads and rolled them down the water slide on our table. 

If you haven't played with water beads yet, you should check them out. Even if your kids don't like them, you can always use them to water your flowers. We bought our water beads from Amazon - Ten (10) Bag of Crystal Soil Water Beads (10 Colors).

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Roshni! Toys need a bath too sometimes. :)

  2. Hi we love waterbabies (thats what they are called here) a tip if I may. You can add food colouring to the white (see through) balls to colour them. Also change the colour of the water half way through the absobsion to have a two colour ball.
    It is plant food so when you are done you can throw it in the garden.

    1. Great tips! So smart yo throw them in the garden after. We have never done that. Thanks!

    2. Sorry, Anon. They are not plant food. They can hold and release water, so they can be used to "water" cut flowers. Putting them is the garden is probably not a good idea.

  3. I love that you put them in you're water table - what fun!

    1. Now getting them out of the water table was quite a challenge. LOL!

  4. We've never bought water beads but they look like so much fun I think we'll have to try them out!

    1. They are even fun for adults and you can use them on plants.

  5. Looks like some of the water beads got HUGE, how fun! We love water beads at the Clubhouse and would love if you would link this post up on our Adventures in Water Beads page:

    It's amazing how much can be explored with these little sensory wonders! Thanks :)

  6. So cute! I've actually never thrown in our "regular" toys with the water beads. Will have to give that a go. Love that you used them in the water table too :)

  7. Just bought our first set of these -- can't wait to see the kids' reactions!

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