I had no idea what would happen if we froze water beads. I actually thought they would revert back to their small state from the cold. Kind of like a water bead version of shrinkage. Turns out, they stayed roughly the same size and just became suspended in the ice.
Have your kids experienced water beads yet? We have had lots of fun with them in the past when we had creative play with water beads. Water beads are tiny hard beads that resemble pellets. They grow when left in water, and become a slippery and squishy sensory material that kids enjoy playing with. Recently, after some fun with water beads, we decided to freeze the beads to see what would happen. This resulted in a fun sensory experience that kept my little one engaged for the longest time.
To freeze water beads you will need some plastic cups. I love to re-use apple sauce/fruit cups. We have used them for colorful dancing milk and homemade finger paint. They were just the right size for this activity. I just filled them up to the top with water and added water beads that had already grown.
I put them in the freezer overnight and popped them out of the cups and into a plastic bin filled with water.
First, I just let my daughter explore this on her own. She said “wow” over and over as she picked up the ice and looked at the water balls suspended inside.
She thought they looked like flowers.
Ignore the background mess. This is my life. I provided my daughter with a spoon and fork so she could explore the ice.
Soon, the ice started melting in the water and the water beads looked like they were getting bigger.
My daughter tried to break open the ice and free the water beads with her fork.
She loved holding the ice as it melted.
She tried to use all her senses for this activity.
When the ice did melt, the water beads started breaking down as well.
At the end, only colorful bits of pieces of water beads remained.
If you enjoyed our water bead activities, check out our other play ideas with water beads and water.