Frozen Water Bead Sensory Bin

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Frozen Water Bead Sensory Bin: Water beads are quickly becoming a family favorite around here. We had a blast adding in essential oils to our water beads a couple weeks ago which piqued an interest as to how else we could play with water beads!

Frozen Water Beads

Water beads are tiny hard beads that resemble pellets. They grow when left in water, and become a slippery and squishy sensory material that kids enjoy playing with. Heading into this activity I had absolutely no idea what would happen if we froze water beads, but the kiddos wanted to do something similar to our dinosaur ice excavation activity so we gave it a try…

These frozen water beads were an absolute blast and while not an activity that held my kids attention for one long session, it was one that they visited frequently throughout the day. Am thinking this would make a fun observational experiment next time!

Items Needed for Frozen Water Beads:

  • Balloons
  • Water Beads
  • Water
  • Sensory Bin Tools — Tub, Scoops, Cups, etc.

Items Needed for Frozen Water Beads

We also added in some glass beads and small plastic toys to create a rainbow fairy small world 🙂

How to Set Up Frozen Water Beads:

Set up for frozen water beads was extremely simple. To see how to grow your water beads check out our Stress Away Water Bead Sensory Bin! Once they are grown to a size that you are happy with put your water beads into a balloon.

water beads inside a balloon

This is a great fine motor activity for little hands!

fine motor strengthening with water balloons

There is no set amount of how many water beads to put inside each balloon. We probably put about 2-3 handfuls in each. Once you have filled your balloons (which in itself truly is a fun activity for tinkerers) add some water to your balloons, tie them off, and throw them in the freezer.

Frozen water bead balloons

It took our balloons a complete 24 hours to freeze fully. Once frozen we simply cut off the balloons, filled up a tub with some warm water, unused water beads, and toys to play!

setting up frozen water bead play

The frozen water beads created a really strange texture.

Frozen water beads

They were firm, yet squishy, and a bit crunchy…really hard to explain and something that you just have to experience for yourself!

touching frozen water beads

As the ice melted the water beads would disintegrate which was a fun conversation starter. We covered a lot of science terms as we explored!

Squishing Frozen Water Beads

But by far the favorite activity of both the kiddos was experimenting with how much pressure it took to smoosh up and squish their frozen water beads!

All and all this was a super fun and simple activity that we will definitely be keeping around to play with again!


Looking for kid activity posts similar to this one? Then be sure to click through the below links or head over to our Facebook fan page to continue the discussion!


Water Bead Sensory Play for Quiet Time Excavating Dinosaurs from Ice DIY Sparkly Rainbow Crystals {Dyed Rock Salts}



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2 thoughts on “Frozen Water Bead Sensory Bin”

    • No not with this activity. We have frozen them accidentally (sensory table was in garage and they froze). Those thawed in a way that the waterbeads were still intact, but the style of freezing in this article – no they won’t be reusable after play.


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