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If you’ve been around the blogoshpere for awhile you have definitely seen water beads, however, if you’re like me you may not have actually tried playing with them before. A friend of mine recently gave us some water beads and needless to say, I’m hooked. Water beads are a natural kid’s activity, their size, color, and texture are so appealing to children who will love feeling and squishing them. I loved photographing them, what color! If you google water bead activities for kids you’ll find a host of ideas; I personally like them for the science aspect. “Growing” dehydrated water beads is great science activity for kids.
Caution: One brand of the large sized beads, roughly the same size as bouncy ball when fully hydrated, were recalled because they are a choking hazard. If you have these make sure closely supervise the activity. In general be sure to let children know water beads should never be put into your mouth!
Water Bead Science
- Dehydrated Water Beads purchased online
- Empty a few packs of the tiny beads into a large bowl.
- Add water to cover.
- Watch the beads grow! This will take some patience. After an hour you will see some growth. After about 8 hours they will reach their full size.
- Once they are fully hydrated, pour the water beads into bins or containers and let your child feel and squish to their hearts content! The beads also bounce but be careful, they will be everywhere!
Ideas for Additional Exploration
- Place the clear beads in a bowl of water. They will visually disappear….tell your child to feel for them. They will be amazed.
- Place the beads on a paper towel for a few days and watch them shrink back up to their original size
- My friend showed me a fantastic photo she shot through a large clear water bead. The image was flipped; this is an opportunity to discuss how our eyes work.
- Freeze them! Make a large ice chunk from water and hydrated beads. Then place the icy water bead mix in a bowl or kiddie pool filled with water. The full size water beads will unthaw, shrink, then grow in size again. By then end of that process they are mushy and fall apart. The whole unthawing process took about 10-15 minutes on a hot day here in SoCal!