I have seen quite a few sensory bin ideas using water beads lately. I really had no idea what they were at first, and for the life of me I could not locate them in any of the toy departments when I checked. (Turns out they are often used for floral arrangements — I should have been checking the craft store!) Then, one day I found Ja-Ru Globbies in the toy aisle at Big Lots. I picked them up, hoping they would be the infamous water beads I had heard about.
My kids were super excited about the itty-bitty colorful balls and couldn’t wait to see what we’d do with them. Me? I was pretty excited, too!
I explained to them that we were going to put them in water and that they were supposed to grow.
A couple hours later we had a bowlful of squishy, marble-sized balls to play with.
The kids spent the next half hour or so just feeling the water beads between their fingers, watching them bounce in the plastic storage container they were playing in, and enjoying the rainbow of colors. (I have to admit, my husband and I couldn’t keep our hands off of them, either!)
Eventually a few toys joined the party.
Seems like the black water beads were just perfect for cannon balls.
With all the different colors that came in our little tube, I thought sorting the colors out would be a great activity for my youngest preschooler.
The slippery texture and the small size really worked those hand muscles!
Eventually they were all sorted into containers.
Afterwards, the kids took turns choosing colors to put into their own containers to play with the next time around. My son chose all the black, blue, green and orange, while big sister got white, yellow, purple, and pink.
So much fun, and we haven’t even put them into a big container of water yet!
That is a cool way to use those! Way to go girl! I have a friend who sells these and uses them in glass jars with plants planted in them. Uses them as soil instead of soil! It works great and when you see the beads grow smaller you know it time to water the plant!
Until I looked them up on Amazon I didn’t know what they were actually used for…. Makes perfect sense!
Boys! 🙂 Definitely suggest doing it outside because they are super slippery and if one is thrown and not found, someone could fall.
My daughter liked squishing and breaking them… After her 6th one I had to tell her to stop or they’d go away.
We tried water beads a while back and the kids had a lot of fun. I was disappointed that they didn’t grow very big. Yours are a lovely size. Looking at your second photo maybe I had too much water. You have inspired me to try again. Found you from Crafty Moms Share.
We actually didn’t play with them in water, which most of the post I’ve seen have done. I’m wondering if storing them in water makes them more likely to break/fall apart. So far I’ve stored them in covered containers w/o water and they seem fine.
My kids get really excited about water beads too, and every time we have them around I plan to make a centerpiece craft with them, but it hasn’t happened yet. Love your pre-school ideas, fabulous! thanks for sharing on craft schooling sunday!
That would be neat — a centerpiece craft. I can definitely see that for a family holiday meal in the future.
Donna DM Yates says
How fun. I’m glad these worked out.
thanks so much for linking up last week!
What fun!! I know it took me awhile to figure out what the water beads were as well. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!