If you’re even remotely connected to Pinterest or a fan of any of my fave blogs, there’s a really good chance you already know about these spectacular little sensory Water Beads. If it hadn’t been for the magic of the internet I never would have known these even existed, let alone tried them as a tool for exploration and discovery. I found ours at JoAnn Fabrics, but if you can’t find them near you, you can easily find them on Amazon.
I set up our DIY light table and then N filled the top with about 1/2″ of water.I poured the tiny aqua gems into a small container for her to add to the water.
She scooped them up and dropped them in. This step was as much a part of the fun as any of them.
As she mixed them up, we marveled at how they grew….slowly….growing….slowly…(good lesson in patience!). N played with them while her sister napped and we set them aside for a couple hours. After snacks and a romp outside, this is what they looked like. And it turned out that 14 month old Baby Rainbow enjoyed them even more than big sister. I was super cautious at first because little things that look like food go in the mouth, but after a few watchful “not for eating”comments, she was good to go.
I tucked the light table under a kitchen cabinet and Baby R has gone back to dig it out at least five times since. I think she’s fascinated by the texture of the beads and can’t seem to get enough of them. I still keep a close eye on her when she uses them, but it’s helpful to know that the gems are non-toxic. In fact, she’s intently playing with them as I type. So maybe this post is really about “how to entertain your little one while you get things done.” One last thing, the beads look really cool with light shining through them, but it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t have a light table. A clear bowl on a sunny day or in a well-lit room will work well too!
For more Water Bead fun, check out Messy Kids’ Creepy Crawly water beads and The Chocolate Muffin Tree’s Water Bead fun. And related to this, you might also be interested in the FAKE SNOW that we recently made.
Have you introduced your kids to Water Beads yet? What are your favorite materials for sensory play?
My 14-month old is well-supervised when playing with Aqua Gems. Please use your best judgment when introducing young children to small objects.