I have seen so many people post about how great water beads are for a sensory bin. We finally got around to trying it out. I think my whole family would agree that this was fun. You do have to plan ahead for this activity because the beads take 6 – 12 hours to fully hydrate.
This is how it all went. We were grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and everyone knows that you don’t leave that store with just groceries. Especially if you casually stroll down the crafts aisles. That’s what I was doing when I spotted a package of water beads on sale for $1.50. I was so pleased, not only for the price but they were a beautiful purple color. Having just boys, not much pink or purple comes my way so when it does my heart just rejoices. We came home and I poured these tiny hard beads into our sensory bin. They looked so small and I had the boys examine them before I poured the water in. I even got to put in a Bible lesson too about the mustard seed being very small but faith even as big as a mustard seed can move mountains.
The boys took turns pouring the water in and I helped with this. Otherwise the water would have been poured on their brother, on me, on the cabinets, stomped in and thrown around. I can never be too careful around these two. After a few hours, we peeked back in and Lance shouted, OH, they’ve grown! Through out the rest of the day they both asked to watch the beads grow. The boys had to go to bed and wait until the morning to play with the beads.
My husband even took a turn at running his hands through the sensory bin and he also liked it. After breakfast I sat the bin down on the kitchen floor and the boys didn’t hesitate to jump right in. The giggled as the squished the beads, raked hands through it and felt the new sensation. I pulled out a few different water beads and we talked about how each one looked different but they were all the same color called purple. We even looked at all the different shapes: round, oval, jelly bean, and a defunct crescent shape.
I gave them two small measuring scoops and two small cups. They scooped, they poured, they dumped into and out of in every combination imaginable. They pretended the purple beads were blueberries and they made blueberry muffins for mom. They played like this for a long time.
If you have very active kiddos, then you know what came next, yes, the accidental spilling that lead to the intentional spilling and on to the rolling, hitting and throwing which crescendod into intentional squeezing and popping of the water beads, with jelly everywhere. When it hit that point, all the fun stopped.
My kitchen floor looked like we hit the play load of a gem mine. I didn’t think to get a picture of that, no beads were left in the tub. It took the better part of 30 min to pick up all those slippery beads from up off the floor and you bet I made those two boys do it themselves too. Oh what fun they had while even picking up the beads. Kids can turn anything into fun. I need to remember that myself. A note for those who have little ones that figure out how to smash the beads, the next time the water bead bin comes out, they get to the smashing really quick. So for us, this may be a sensory bin that goes away for quite a while before it comes back out again. We really enjoyed it though the two times we did it this past week. Now we get to watch the beads over the next few days to see them evaporate and turn back into tiny hard beads.