Monday, September 12, 2011

Water Beads Sensory Bin

How did I not know about Water Beads?!!
I've been hearing about these in some amazing sensory plays that we just had to try it!

Water Beads come in a really small packet in tiny bead form.

You put the tiny beads in water for 4-6 hours and they grow into larger clear pearls, like marbles.  They are used to decorate vases or candle holders.

We stuck all our tiny beads in a big bin of water, the colours definitely leaked right away changing the water colour.

We kept checking on them, seeing them grow a little more each time.

They had crinkles in them, almost unfolding out into a ball, as they retain water.

The next morning, our bin was full of round Water Beads!

They feel slimey, slippery, squishy, and so smooth!  The colours of these beads bled into the water, so we drained the water all out of the bucket, leaving just the beads.

It is such a fun slippery feeling to put your hands through a big bin of Water Beads!

I added some scoops and containers for pouring and filling fun.

Our beads were almost fragile, they would burst, pop, break apart easily.  So as we played in it, there were gel pieces that clung to our hands.

And the bin ended up looking like this, balls with broken pieces.  Also, they were very tempting to squish and pop, so besides the ones that broke on their own, we also couldn't resist to squishing a few of those soft gel-y balls! :)  But the main idea of a sensory bin is the sensory experience and that means always messy fun, nothing ever stays pretty during sensory play!


  1. So much fun, right? I picked up water beads at michaels. You get twice as much in the package and they don't burst!

  2. I just picked up some the other day at the dollar store to make a sensory bin for my son. Looks like you had so much fun, I can't wait to try ours! I was thinking of saving them for a Halloween sensory bin, but I don't know if I can wait. LOL

  3. I picked up ours at Craft Warehouse, the kiddos haven't played with them yet, but I have, nothing broke and all the color did not bleed away with the water. Unfortunately they only had two colors available: yellow and clear( which isn't a color at all). We'll be playing with them this Friday, along with beans in the next container. I'm also going to put some in a clear plastic container and place on the light table.

  4. Are they non-toxic and safe for the children to play with?

  5. The packages do say they are non-toxic, but I wouldn't recommend for the younger ages because it can be a choking hazard if they still mouth things.

  6. Cool! I hadn't ever heard of these - can't wait to try them, though.

  7. I just bought a package last night at Walmart to try them. I have them soaking and they do look and feel so cool. The package says they are non toxic, but it also says that in the State of California, they have found that they cause some kind of cancer and can cause birth defects and a bunch of other stuff. What's with that? I have seen that CA has different rules/reg for furniture in some of the catalogs. I need to do some more research before I'll let the kids play just in case. The package didn't say what the chemical was. Has anyone else seen that on your packages?

    1. I own and Our beads are imported from China and we have the MSD sheet on the product. There is no mention of carcinogenic properties.

      In fact, water beads are the same material used in children's diapers. The only conceivable problem would be with a red color. There is no true red as the FDA bans the dye.

    2. I own I don't know if CA is being overly cautious or what, but these beads are made from the same polymer as children's diapers so I doubt that there is much of an issue.

      We have an MSD sheet on the product (silica polyacrylate) and there is no mention of cancer.

  8. Wow Lisa Jean, I never heard this. I am in Canada so I am not sure about the CA laws. I never knew. All I know is that the water beads is a Polymer? like the same material used for contact lenses.


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