Friday, September 2, 2011

Try this. Seriously.

So here's the deal, folks. I'm still without power at my house. No air conditioning, no refrigerator, no hot showers, and no Internet. It's enough to make a girl cry, if I wasn't so worried about messing up my mascara. I'm joking, of course, it is nearly impossible to put makeup on in a dark bathroom. But I'm really hopeful that power will be back soon. So I can do the things I really and truly love like vacuum.

I've been feeling a bit off kilter with all of this going on. But that's not why I'm posting today. I just had to share a sensory activity that the little one and I tried. While I was at a big box store stocking up for this hurricane, I happened to wander down the artificial flower aisle. Immediately, I thought of Play at Home Mom when I saw these:
Water beads, of course! They are not just for your flower arrangements..... if you ever used them for that. I had never purchased them before this, but I am so glad I did. They came in a variety of colors and were super cheap. Three dollars! These are not recommended for consumption, so if your little wants to taste test everything, you might want to wait until they are a bit older to test these out. 

Also, if you are better prepared than I am, you will most likely read the directions before getting your kiddos all excited to play. In my ignorance, I incorrectly assumed that they would automatically grow the second you added the allotted amount of water. I was incorrect. They kind of just look like this for a long time.  

They need about six hours (or more) to reach their full potential. I let Logan swish them around a bit, and I'm guessing he would have been content just playing this way. But we were headed out, so I put this container out of the reach of my curious kitties and we went on our way.

When we came back, it was as if magic had happened. I added a bunch of containers and scoops and you know, stuff, and Logan jumped right in.

These beads can stain hands, if you are concerned about that sort of thing. They are also slippery, so be careful not to step on them if they accidentally make it to the floor. But, all of those things aside, I really recommend you try these out.

It is some serious fun.

Often, just trying them with your hands simply isn't enough.

And of course, once your standing in there, it only makes sense to try and sit in them.

Have you ever heard of water beads or had any playful experiences with them? I'd love to hear about it!

Edited: These water beads are a polymer that retain water. To learn more about these beads you can check out here: 

Also: Check out Play at Home Mom for even more ideas on water bead play! I love the light box idea!


  1. I've never even heard of those! They look so fun though, so now I will have to go search for some! I might even share and let my son play with them too!

    I hope your power goes on soon - I can't imagine being without it for that long!

  2. Thanks, Cathey. They said maybe by Monday night, fingers crossed! :)

  3. THOSE ARE COOL! I've never heard of water beads. Actually, I think I might be lying. My boyfriend has a container in his cigar box with beads that absorb water, so those might be the same things.

  4. I just bought one of each color to use at preschool for our sensory table. I love them. I hadn't thought of them putting their feet in them, but that will probably happen to. We're going to use these with our weather unit when we get to rainbows.

  5. Liz- That is a great idea! I was actually wishing I had picked up more than one color.

  6. This is on my list! Thanks for reminding me about this and actually showing the package of what you bought-----I am a visual person and now I will more likely do this!

  7. Ohhh, neat! I wouldn't have thought to use them for play but they look awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Those look like fun. I will have to keep my eye out for them.

  9. ok, never heard of these! What rock have I been under bc they look like lots of FUN!

    Thanks for linking to the Sunday Showcase! Hope to see you again this week!


  10. Bernadette- I felt the same way when I saw the blog post from Play at Home Mom. But my little guy had a blast with them. We have played with them often since this day!

  11. Oh my goodness! I want to play in them...oh yeah, and maybe let my kids do it too!

    New follower....
    The Exhausted Mom {dot} com
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  12. I've seen these several places lately and really want to get some! Do they stain clothes if they stain hands???

  13. These look like so much fun, my sister in law just used them for a party we were at for the flowers. I never even thought of adding them to our sensory bin!! Can't wait to try it out :)

  14. Iowa Farmer's Wife- They stain fingernails. I'm not sure about darker colors. I just put my little boy in play clothes, just in case. :)

    Michelle-The only time I had seen them before was for flower arrangements at a wedding I attended. When I saw them at Play at Home Mom, I was wondering why I had never thought of it before! Haha...........

  15. Thanks for the suggestion! We played with these today and had a blast!=)

  16. I used these in my wedding centerpieces a few months back and EVERYONE started playing with them. Their initial faces were priceless.
    Be careful of the 'big box store' version, as you put it. The emergency ones we got the night before the wedding came from there and they started smelling HORRIBLE within a week.
    The ones we originally got from Hobby Lobby didn't smell even though we had them for months and they never stained anything (hands, clothes, glass vases, OR flowers).
    Anywho, cute blog!

  17. I used clear beads and added food coloring to make different colors!

  18. We bought ours at Walmart, and we haven't had trouble with them yet! We will see!

    Magendi- I love that idea!

  19. The Dollar Tree sells them only in clear but they are tons of cheap fun at that price and the best part is that they come in a jar already ready to play with no need to add water.


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