Water beads are a favorite sensory bin activity in our living room. Lucy loves them and they provide a great sensory experience. You can see our most recent water bead activities here and here. We recently discovered GIANT waterbeads and we are obsessed! They. are. awesome!
We had so much fun exploring them yesterday and when we put them away, Lucy immediately asked if we could take them out again tomorrow. Yes, baby girl, we can!
These are great for older kids as well. I don't think you are ever too old to enjoy playing with slimy things that bounce, roll and squish. I could see school age children coming up with wild ways to use them and I anticipate having them in our craft closet for many years to come.
*Just remember to ALWAYS store the presoaked beads out of reach of children. Once wet, the giant ones grow to up to 400x their size, you don't want curious babies or toddlers putting the presoaked marble sized beads anywhere near their mouths. They are not edible so even when they are fully soaked you want to supervise, supervise, supervise. If your child may be tempted to take a bite, I recommend using tapioca pearls, which are about they size of small water beads, until they are older!*
Think she likes them? Just look at that face!
I love having containers and tools out near the sensory table. A muffin tin, slotted spoon, and in this case, an old recycled Mochi ice cream container work perfectly for this activity.
After sorting and mixing the giant water beads for a long time, Lucy got interested in what else they could do. They bounce quite wonderfully from an inch or two and jiggle when you mix and move them around. After experimenting a little bit within the sensory table, she built a ramp out of her Grimm's wooden rainbow and let them loose!
We quickly found that they were delightfully fun to roll down the ramp, but if they landed on the ground (instead of the other water beads) they would smash. As more and more broke, we collected the pieces in a clear container. Lucy soon became interested in that project. She began squishing and smashing the beads into a beautiful multi colored gel.
The resulting gel was absolutely gorgeous and when she lost interest, we simply threw it out. We washed our hands, put the beads out of reach (they are a supervision only toy and I don't Lu tempted), and had a conversation about how many different things we can do with them. Tomorrow, Lucy said she wants to try making a ramp out of blocks instead of her rainbow.
Want to shop this post? The links below are are amazon affiliate links which means, if you clickity over to amazon and purchase them, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Any compensation from the link goes right into Lucy's warrior fund to help us, help her, battle retinoblastoma. You can follow along on her journey using her hashtag, #lucythewarrior on facebook and instagram. xoxo
Grimm's wooden rainbow (100% worth the investment and our favorite open ended toy!)
Tapioca Pearls (taste safe alternative to water beads)
If you try out this activity be sure to let us know! Tag me on ig @juliajanekids or drop a comment below! We'd love to hear from you!