Waterbeads are my new go to activity! The small ones are ready to play with in 4-6 hours, and the large take 24-36 hours. Watching them grow is definitely interesting. Especially the large ones, they go through multiple stages before they hit their full size. . They are really satisfying to play with, nontoxic, biodegradable, and apparently reusable! I tested drying them out I’ll show the results bellow. They are really fun to play with all on there own but I wanted to come up with a few idea’s of other things that can be done with them. I also wanted to think up second use idea’s for them so you could get more than one play session out of them.
This one is super simple. Set up cups or bowls for your child to sort the beads into. I wrapped construction paper around cups, but if you already had colored cups or bowls that would also be great. This would be great for slightly older kids. Asher was much more interested in squishing them.
Make it MESSY!!!
Waterbeads with a toddler ends up messy in my experience. Especially with the large ones. I figured why not make it MORE messy. I thought why not add shaving cream! It hid them and changed the sensory experience he had. He really enjoyed finding them and rinsing them off in some water. I also gave him a big spoon and he enjoyed scooping and stirring them up.
After we played with the small ones I tossed them in the freezer. Ice is always a hit with Asher, but having colorful frozen squishy things was extra exciting. I gave him little buckets of water which he enjoyed pouring over them, I’m glad we did this outside because the freezing process kind of exploded the waterbeads. Once they thawed they were just squishy little piles. I just sprayed them into the grass since they are biodegradable.
Crushed Waterbead Search and Find
The large waterbeads crush really easily so I wanted to find a second use for them. I hid some plastic animals in the bottom and let Asher look for them. The crushed up beads is a different sensory experience, you’ll notice Asher couldn’t resist getting his feet in it. We also did this outside in our little IKEA sun shelter. When we were done I just shook it out into the grass.
I hope you enjoy these waterbead activities! I would love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and play!