Have you ever had Boba Tea or Pearl Tea? You know those chewy, soft balls that sink to the bottom of milky tea that you suck up through a fat milkshake straw? The drink originated in Taiwan as a novelty for children, and has since taken the world by storm with bubble tea houses popping up everywhere. Mmmm.
Boba isn’t my favorite, actually, but when I spotted a bag of multi-colored dried boba in one of our Asian markets, I saw the opportunity for play and exploration. These are a fun sensory alternative to water beads, which you’ll also want to check out if you’re not familiar. My kids love them!
Keep in mind: Be mindful when introducing small children to tiny objects. Keep an eye on your child and use your best judgement.
- tapioca pearls
- two bowls
How to use boba
- Start out by setting up two bowls. Pour the dry balls into one bowl and invite your child to scoop them into the other. Keep going until this experience wears thin.
- Cook the boba as directed on your package. If your’s doesn’t come with directions, boil the water, pour in the boba, and cook until the balls float. Let the boba sit for a few minutes to absorb more water and get softer.
- Once the boba is ready, it can be added to tea or milk or played with.
Unlike water beads, the texture is much gooier and they won’t last for very long. The boba were a sticky mess and ready for the trash can after just a few hours, but my 1-year old enjoyed playing with these, and making them was a breeze.
What do you think about tapioca pearls as a food or art material?
For more about using food in preschool sensory experiences, you have to read this article: Should food be used in preschool sensory activities?
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