We love water beads.
Absolutely LOVE them!
Every time we share an idea on how to play with water beads on Instagram or Twitter I almost instantly get questions. Since this is one of our favorite sensory materials, I figured it was about time that I put together a post.
The most common questions I get are –
What are water beads?
How do you store them?
How do you dispose of them?
Where can you find them?
And lastly, how do you use them?
What Are Water Beads?
Water beads are actually designed to be used for floral arrangments. On top of giving an additional decorative element to a vase of flowers, they also control water absorption.
Although water beads are non-toxic and environmentally safe, they can be a choking hazard for younger kids or children who still mouth items. However, there are alternative water beads that are taste-safe.
What Do Water Beads Look Like?
Water beads show up in a package dehydrated – they are very tiny! When submerged in water they will eventually expand up to the size of a marble. Water beads come in all sorts of colors, although our favorite is clear because when in water they are much harder to find. You can even color your own water beads!
What Do Water Beads Feel Like?
When expanded, water beads are slippery squishy marbles. When dropped back into a bucket or on the floor they bounce! Water beads are extremely calming to run your fingers through, it’s like adding a texture to water. Water beads will not dissolve in water and are not sticky (unless you try the edible water beads – those do get sticky as they dry).
Where Do You Purchase Water Beads?
Typically I order ours online through Amazon.com because with our Prime Membership they are at our door within 2 days. This is much easier for me than packing up the kids and running around to various craft stores to find them. You can also find water beads at any store that sells floral arrangement items such as crafting stores or Walmart.
How Do You Store Water Beads?
Usually, I store our water beads in clear bottles such as a Voss Bottle. Water beads make the best discovery bottles!
You can also store them in a ziplock bag or in a Rubbermaid. Another option is to lay them out on a tray until they dehydrate and then put them back into a bag. The only thing to be aware of when storing your water beads is that they can mold so make sure to check them before play if you are storing them while wet.
How Do You Dispose of Water Beads?
When we are done playing with water beads and aren’t going to store them, I crumble them up and add them to the soil of our potted plants. The polymer that is used in water beads is also used in a lot of bagged potting soil. You can also throw them into a garbage bag.
Do not throw water beads down a drain or into a garbage disposal – they will very quickly clog any pipes and/or burn out the motor of a garbage disposal.
Our Favorite Toys and Play Ideas for Water Beads
Playing with water beads is a favorite around here. They are an extremely versatile sensory material that you can use for just about anything A favorite of ours is throwing water beads into a kiddie pool – it’s a great challenge for the visual sensory...
It’s no secret that we love water beads around here. And with our Water Bead Sensory Window being one of our all-time top posts, I would take a good guess that y’all do too 😉 The thing about Water Beads is that even though they are a ton of fun, they...
I have been compensated by Windex for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. When it comes to kids – mess is inevitable. Fingerprints, scattered toys, food crumbs – it’s all part of them learning as they explore their...
When it comes to sensory play, water beads are probably one of my kid’s favorites. It is amazing to watch just how creative they can get with them, and this sensory material is absolutely versatile. My kids have frozen water beads, added them to shaving cream,...
Dyeing water beads is an extremely easy way to save money and clear water beads can be found at any store that sells floral supplies.
Playing with water beads and shaving cream on the light table is so simple and mesmerizing!
Learning how to make water bead slime is a super fun science activity! Plus it is a fun sensory bin to play with afterwards!
Ya’ll are never going to believe what this Frog Egg Sensory Bin is made out of, but it was perfect for setting up some pretend play while learning about the anatomy of Frog Eggs.
Hammering Water Beads is a fantastic way to take a water bead sensory bin and extend the play into some gross motor fun.
Painting with Water Beads is an amazing process art and sensory experience that your child will love! This is a perfect activity for working on fine motor, language development, and cause and effect.
Shaving Cream and Water Beads Sensory Bin: We mixed our water beads with another one of our sensory favorites — shaving cream! The kids loved it!
Frozen Water Bead Sensory Bin: Water beads are quickly becoming a favorite around here. Your kids are bound to love this fun twist on a sensory classic!
Water Bead Sensory Play: Have you or your kids ever played with water beads? If not then you MUST! Water beads are such an amazing sensory experience! They’re squishy, slightly slimy, slippery, and just absolutely amazing!