As Amelie has entered into her toddler years, she has become incresingly busy, active, and more curious than ever – so I have been incorporating more sensory activities into our days, as she soaks up the world around her. Sensory activities are important for young children, as they assist kids in learning to explore and talk about the world around them.
Water beads have been one of our favorite sensory activities lately. Colorful, cool, and soft – fun to look at and soothing to touch, water beads are extremely enticing for kids. My favorite part about using them is that its a simple way to encourage and facilitate cognitive development while inspiring Amelie to partake in creative and imaginative play.
Where to Buy Water Beads?
I buy mine (as pictured) from Amazon. You can also find them at Michaels and other craft stores.
SAFETY NOTE: These water beads are safe for touching and playing ONLY. Do not let your child eat. Supervise very closely or save the water beads for when your child is older and no longer putting things in his/her mouth.
Let the water beads soak in water for about 8 hrs. I usually set up the beads overnight, but they are also fun to watch grow over time, so it is enjoyable for kids to observe if done during the day.
Once the beads have fully soaked up the water, I place them in a plastic bowl or tub. The water beads are bouncy, so I like to put them in deeper bowls. I usually give Amelie a couple plastic bowls, cups, and spoons for her to scoop and pour the beads. We typically do this activity outside on an old blanket to make for easy clean-up.
Simple Sensory Play and Exploration
To start off, simply just enjoy plunging your hands into the bucket of squishy water beads.
Talk about what they look like, what colors you see, how they feel – cool, squishy, wet, soft, smooth…(language skills)
Pick up and count the water beads, drop them into other cups. (fine motor skills, math skills)
Sort water beads by color.
Scoop and pour the beads into a tub. (fine motor skills)
Sit back and let your child enjoy the soothing sensation of the beads, allowing them to explore, play, and pretend. (As previously noted, keep a close eye on them as they play “alone”)
For some more ideas on how to use water beads for sensory activities visit the following:
Water Beads cost only a few bucks and last 4-5 days, giving you plenty of time to get fair use out of them. If you haven’t used them before, Â I encourage you to give them a try!