Day 25 of our 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge is water bead day. Usually Adam will transfer water beads from one container to another. Today I wanted to create a water bead station to see how many ways we could play with water beads using items found in the recycling bin.
First we needed water beads and finally it was our opportunity to use our BrainPack from Marbles The Brain Store that Grandad bought us on his recent trip to America. The Brainbows are proliferating polymers – otherwise known as water beads. The package recommend using boiling water to hydrate the water beads and that they grow to 200x their original size. I poured half a packet into a large container. We were amazed by the results!
I used our favourite sensory box – a 33 Litre Really Useful Under The Bed Plastic Storage Box. I used a variety of different recycled items to create different obstacle courses for the water beads.
Adam’s favourite activity involved two recycled coke bottles. One bottle stayed inside the sensory bin and was weighted down with recycled cloud dough. It had two holes cut out of its middle so that another coke bottle could fit through it. This bottle had on hole cut out so that water beads dropped through the first bottle would land into the second bottle. When enough water beads were in the second bottle they weighted it down and the water beads tipped out.
Another activity involved a long transparent tube recycled from Adam’s Christmas present. I taped it to the sensory bin with Rainbow Duck Tape (affiliate link). Adam had to reach up high in order to get the water beads to drop down the shoot. He later realised that filling a plastic bottle with water beads was a good way to watching multiple water beads go down at once. Our other red shoot was made from a pool noodle – the same one we used in our indoor Olympics.
Other activities included filling up plastic bottles – one water bead at a time, seeing how many water beads you can balance on your hand and transferring water beads from one small container to another. It wasn’t long before Adam wanted to explore the water beads with his feet. Adam also managed to get his guttering involved in the water bead play!
I had also placed a bowl of hydrated water beads into the freezer over night. Some of the colour of the water beads remained but the bowl had created a wonderful pattern. I was intrigued to see what happened to the water beads once they defrosted.
We opted to defrost them in the sink. As soon as we placed the frozen water beads in the warm water the beads broke apart and disintegrated. This didn’t deter Adam has he had a wonderful time catching any remaining beads and squashing them with his fingers. Obviously I couldn’t empty the sinks contents down the drain so we spent a wonderful 15 minutes scooping up the water beads and placing them in a recycled plastic bottle. Great for fine motor skill development and we now have a water bead sensory bottle!
* Water beads – we used the BrainPack from Marbles The Brain Store. In the past we have used Mixed Colors Crystal Water Gel Beads. The water beads can also be bought in individual coloured packs in blue, green, pink, purple, yellow and transparent.
* A large container – we used 33 Litre Really Useful Under The Bed Plastic Storage Box
* Items from the recycling bin, containers and scoops
* Rainbow Duck Tape (affiliate link)
31 Day Sensory Play Challenge Blog Hop:
Other sensory activities using water beads: