While trawling through Pinterest I came across pictures of children playing with water beads. It looked so intriguing that I just had to give it a go with my charges.  One afternoon we spent well over 40 minutes doing this water bead sensory activity.

Make sure you follow my sensory board on Pinterest for more ideas.  Don’t forget to save the pin for later.

You will need:

  • Water beads
  • Bowl
  • Cups

Water beads are readily available on Amazon in a variety of colours, and are apparently reusable.

They come as tiny beads that normally need to be soaked in water for around 24 hours.  My charges found it fascinating to watch them grow.  Every time they passed them they wanted to put their hands into the bowl.

water bead sensory activity

Eventually after a day of waiting they were so excited to play with them. I set up two bowls for each of them (and myself), one bowl with water in and one without.  They had a blast playing with them; at one point EC pretended he was a digger moving them from one bowl to another, while YC  just enjoyed squeezing them. We also discovered that these beads are incredibly bouncy.  When one was dropped we went scurrying after it so that the dogs wouldn’t get hold of them.

water bead sensory activity

Not only are these fun to play with, but we all sat there describing what they felt like, why the clear ones seemed to disappear when they were submerged in water and why they got bigger. This sensory play is a very therapeutic form of play which may help a child calm down when they have become overly excited.

water bead sensory activity

It is important to remember that water beads are meant for decorative displays and use with plants.  They are non-toxic, but supervision is required when using them.

If you enjoyed this water bead sensory activity make sure you check out my water bead stress balls.

Pin for later:

water bead sensory activity