We've been having so much fun experimenting with Water Beads, I thought I would share!
Water beads are these neat little water absorbing polymers, and we decided to "grow" more and bring them to our preschool co-op this week. They were a hit! The water beads (sometimes called crystal soil) are used for floral arrangements and are non-toxic and biodegradable, however they do pose a choking hazard so supervision is needed.
I found mine in the floral section at Walmart for $2 a package, but I think you can find them at some dollar stores, and I just ordered some Water Beads on Amazon too! (5 packages for $2.60)
They're super simple to use, too. I just use a big bucket (I like to use ice cream buckets) and fill with the tiny beads and water. I did one color per bucket, and noticed some colors really faded (like red) but others didn't at all. We let them sit overnight (or about 4-6 hours) to fully expand, and then they're ready to play!
After each time we play with them, I run them under water in a strainer to get any dirt, grass, crumbs, and whatever else out, and then put them back in a bucket for the next day.
(this is about 7 packets worth of beads, all clean and ready for next week's preschool!)
They have given us hours upon hours of play, are pretty easy to clean up, (any beads that drop dry up and shrink again) and are all around a fantastic way to use some imagination and just play! We love them!
7 Ways to Play with Water Beads:
1. Use with a Sand/Water Table and take it outside. (We use a Step 2 sand box with cover to store our beads for preschool.)
2. Place in a storage tub with measuring cups, funnels, and bowls to measure and fill.
3. Paint with them to make pretty paint swirl pictures.
4. Create an underwater adventure with toy fish and other sea creatures and boats. (My girls' princesses actually love the water beads too, along with horses, blocks, and anything that happens to be around when we're playing with them)
5. Stick in a few glow sticks for fun glow in the dark experience.
6. Use them with a light table. (you can make your own light table!)
7. Sort by colors, numbers, weights, sizes... options are endless!
Or, make a super cute birthday gift basket for a little one in your life complete with beads, stacking cups, and little toy animals! So much fun!