Water beads are these tiny balls that are made up of a gel molecule specifically referred to as Polymer.
Water Beads are typically used for hydrating plants and as party decorations. But its slippery, squishy and fun texture makes it a wonderful sensory tool for children to use to explore with their hands.
You can buy these beads at your local department store or on the Amazon website http://www.amazon.com -which is where I made my purchase.
When you buy them, they come in small packets or sometimes they come in a glass tube depending on where you purchase them.
Here’s a picture below of how I received the Water Beads in the mail.
Soon after receiving the water beads, my son and I emptied a few packets and we put them in a large container containing fresh clear water. The packets often come with instructions for the exact water-to-beads proportion. It takes about 4 hours for them to reach full size but the longer you leave them sit in water, the better. It was such an intriguing and fun process for my son as he sat there for a little while to watch them grow. We decided to let them sit in water overnight since we got them late in the mail that day.
This is what they look like once they’ve reached full size.
Here are some of the fun things you can do with the water beads.
- You can have your toddler scoop them up with a big or small spoon and spill them in a cup. This helps them with fine motor skills.
2. Have them feel the texture of the beads with their hands.
3. Add sea creatures and other fun things to the water for some pretend play.
4. Use them as a sorting and counting excersize. It helps them with their math skills and also with fine motor skills since they have to use their little fingers to pick up the beads and sort them.
There are so many other things you can do with these beads. Just let your toddler use his/her imagination and let it take them wherever it wants to go! 🙂