Have you ever heard of water beads?
I recently found out how wonderful they are for sensory play. After reading about them online and doing my research (they are used in alot of Montessori schools), I finally bought them from an online retailer in Singapore who ships them in from a reputable US company called Jelly Beadz. So here is a post to tell you all about having sensory fun using water beads.
What are water beads?
Water beads are actually meant for use in flower arrangements to add color, water, shine, and texture to the water in a jar. Having said this, it is important to note that water beads are not designed for child’s play as a rule. Although water beads are non-toxic and environmentally safe, they should not be eaten by young children.
How do water beads look like?
If you order water beads online, they will come to you in little packets that almost look like seed packets. You can let the “dehydrated” water beads sit in water for up to 12 hours so they will reach their full growth potential. When water beads sit out of the water for several days, they will shrink back up into small seed-like shapes. When you let the water beads sit in water again, they will expand into marble shapes once again. However, after my Charles plays with ours, we squashed them up and disposed of them.
What do water beads feel like?
Water beads feel like soft, squishy, smooth marbles. If one drops to the floor, it will have a little bounce and it will definitely roll. If you add water beads to a water table, they are relaxing and gentle and wonderful to touch. They are not slimy and they do not dissolve.
Ways water beads can be explored?
Of course the number one way we enjoyed playing with water beads was by adding them to our water table along with different types of strainers and cups. And also because the clear water beads seem to disappear in water, Charles would spend long periods of time using his hands to search for the beads and gather them up. He loves to search for them, scoop them, pour them, feel them, and gather them in cups or scooping them up with spoons and scoops! We also explored the water beads on our DIY light box, in a dark room. Because my DIY light box has a plastic lid for the top, it was fine if the top of the light box got wet. The light shines beautifully through the water beads and Charles enjoys the combination of how the water beads felt and looked on the light box.
DIY Light Box
Never leave your toddler alone with the water beads. Although they are non-toxic and environmentally safe, water beads are NOT for consumption and parents should exercise caution by always ensuring that there is proper supervision during such learn and play activities. I dont recommend re-using the water beads after a learn and play session unless your child is above the age of 7. You may use the water beads for a craft activity with an older child after your learn and play session. (:
Why is Sensory Play important for children?
Children learn from their senses. Even newborn babies begin life by using their senses to learn and make connections about the world. Providing our children with a variety of sensory related activities is a great way for them to have fun and increase their awareness. It’s also important to know that children learn best when engaged in hands-on activities.
I bought my water beads play set from www.heydiddlediddle.com.sg
Click on the image above to purchase the same set that i got! 😀