So…it’s no secret that my kids LOVE water beads. At least twice a week they are requesting that the water beads get pulled out. While I love sensory bins, there are times (especially when the weather outside is beautiful) that we need to be exploring more than a bin. Hammering Water Beads is a fantastic way to take a water bead sensory bin and extend the play into some gross motor fun.
The other day while I was talking to a colleague, they said to me that they were not into sensory play. That they didn’t care for the mess of sensory bins. And I’ll be honest, my heart sunk a little because I realized that some of the activities that I share on the blog make it seem like sensory play happens in a bin and is always messy. And that can’t be farther from the truth — that is just the type of sensory play my kids prefer. And while this activity is messy (because we love messy play) I hope that it helps get you thinking outside of the bin 😉
Items Needed for Hammering Water Beads
- Tools (we used a hammer from this Melissa and Doug Tool Set)
- Water Beads (we bought ours at Michael’s this time around and they stained EVERYTHING! Our favorite place to buy them is here)
- Rubbermaid Bin
- Safari Ltd. TOOBS (Meatball chose the Desert TOOB because our yard looks like the desert)
- Play Clothes
The extent of prep for this activity is making your water beads and putting some play clothes on. Water beads are bouncy and since they are made of the same stuff as diapers when they smush they are jelly. It is a fun texture and challenge, but messy.
Meatball’s favorite was to pile the water beads all together.
Making sure not to miss a single water bead…
and then smash his hammer straight into the pile to watch the water beads fly and bounce off of everything!
Then one by one seek out all the water beads that survived the smash and smush them. Water beads are stronger than they appear. For some it would be a full body effort to crush the water bead.
And of course you can’t forget the importance of examining the water bead guts that are left all over your hammer and hands.
We had a blast with this activity! Because of how the water beads bounce I don’t think I would personally do this activity inside…maybe (and that’s a big maybe) in a confined area with tile. We definitely will be visiting this one again though!