Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Water Beads

This wasn't the post I had planned for today but we had SO MUCH FUN yesterday that I knew I needed to tell y'all about it so you could get in on the fun ASAP!

This summer I've seen several social media posts about water beads and have been intrigued.  




I always saw moms who had them in their kids water tables and since we don't have a water table I needed to figure out a way to make them accessible to all three of my kids at the same time while still keeping the beads semi-contained.  Enter cheap inflatable baby pool!


I wanted them to have enough space to all play but didn't want to commit to having a water table and this was the perfect solution.  So... to the beads...


See all the beads in the pool?  That was one container!  ONE!!! (and half of the package of giant beads).


The giant beads can take 24-48 hours to fully "grow" so I put those in the pool with water on Monday afternoon and let them absorb for almost a day.  The little beads I poured into the pool Tuesday morning around 8 and we started playing around 10:30 and they were great!


I picked up some cool little scooper tools for them and over the course of play we added bowls and cups to the mix. 


The kids played from 10:30 - 12:30 when I had to drag them away to lunch and then got back to playing and played from 2:00 - 5:00.  Seriously.  Best money I've ever spent! ;)


The giant beads were fun but I probably won't buy them again.  The kids could "squish them" in their hands pretty easily and they left little pieces everywhere.  The smaller ones were much more durable.


I cleaned, did a load of laundry and read while they played - it was perfection!



Mason and Griffin set up a "spaghetti station" where the little beads were the noodles and the large were the meatballs and then they made a restaurant.  So cute!




I knew it was bound to happen...


... once their feet were in it took no time at all for this...


... and then this...


... and finally this :)


Okay - so about the mess - it really wasn't bad. The beads were everywhere.  Every.  Where.  Some were whole and some were crushed.  We swept them up and put them in the flower pots and beds.  The beads are biodegradable and will eventually disintegrate and provide moisture to the plants. BONUS!!!  The beads that are left in the pool I covered with a sheet (#classy) and we have plans to play with them every day this week or until they're gone... whichever comes first.

I can't tell you the last time something occupied all three of my kids for so long.  They worked cooperatively, played creatively and were engaged for hours.  Priceless!

Here are the beads and other supplies we used...


And here's a little video I put together because they were SO MUCH FUN and it would be a total shame not to see them in action.


I'm trying to figure out how to use these in my classroom this year because they were such a blast!!!  If you teach elementary they would be a blast to watch grow throughout the day, play with when they're full and then watch dissolve in a plant over the next week or so.  

Santa made a mental note to put a couple of these in the kids stockings and I'm thinking they would be a great thing to keep on hand as a last-minute birthday party gift.  

If you've played with them before at home or in the classroom I'd love to know about your experience and if you end up ordering some and giving them a try let me know what you think!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

PS - This post contained affiliate links - thank you so much for supporting my blog!

33 comments :

  1. Love the imagination! I need to try these out next summer when Mason is older.

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    1. YES!!! They're so fun but definitely need to know not to eat them!

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  2. Thank you for this post!!!! My kids would LOOOOVE to play w/ these & the cheap baby pool is an awesome idea!!! I am also going back to work this Fall as a preschool teacher...I wonder if we could put these in the school's water table?!?!?! Thank you for the awesome ideas!!!!!

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    1. I don't see why not! They're so much fun and way less mess than water!

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  3. We love these! Our daughter likes to have us hide Shopkins or little toys in the container & then she digs around to find them! Or we ask her to pick out a certain number of the same color beads so she's working on her colors & numbers but still having a great time!

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    1. Such great ideas! Going to try some of them this afternoon. Thanks!

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  4. Running to buy these for my 4's class. P.S. I can't believe you have any clothes left from the sale last night. 🤓

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    1. They'll love them! There was a TON but it's quickly getting claimed! Just ready go get it all out of my house :)

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  5. We have been using these for years and always pull them out for birthdays. I kid you not when I say they are always the biggest hit at birthday parties, even when there are bounce houses around!

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  6. I worry about my dogs getting them and possibly swallowing them. Did jack Bauer?

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    1. He didn't and he was out there for most of the time - but he also typically doesn't eat a lot of random stuff (we've had dogs that totally would have eaten them though!)

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  7. My daughter brought home a baggie of these from her after school program and LOVED them. We need to try these out on a larger scale! This looks SO fun!!

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    1. YES!!! And you could even do like 1/4 of the container and do them in a bowl inside.

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  8. I'm ordering these now! How fun! My boys are going to love these! Thanks for sharing!
    Oh, and by the way, some ladies are speedy fast when it comes to your sales! Haha! I commented as soon as your post went live at 8:00 pm and still only got one item out of like ten or so! Wow! Crazy, but good for you! I don't see how I could be any faster! Haha!

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    1. YAY!!! I know!!! I hate it and wish that everyone could get everything but I just have to go in order that comments were left. I hope you're excited about what you got and make sure you check out what's left! :)

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  9. Wow - I'm buying these now! How have I never heard of them before? And the fact that they're biodegradable is huge because I'm sure mine will end up EVERYWHERE! Thanks for the great idea!

    www.fourpointsmom.com

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    1. YES!!! I'm hoping our grass and plants look extra great this Fall because they're COVERED in the beads :)

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  10. These look so fun! I need to get these for my little niece!

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  11. Who are some of your favorites blogger to follow?

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    1. Oh gosh! If I'm being super honest I read my friends blogs every day but other than that am not really consistent with reading other bloggers. I do enjoy The Larson Lingo, Hen and Co and a couple of others when I have a chance! :)

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    2. Thanks! I follow several of your friends too. And let me tell you, what I see makes me want to move to McKinney. What a cute city!

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  12. So fun! I'm 33 years old and with no children and I want to play with these! Haha :)

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  13. Just put these in my Amazon wish list... Christmas will be here before we know it!

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  14. Andrea, you are such a fun mom! You're creativity is off the charts! My son is going to be a sophomore and probably a bit too old for water beads. So I will just have to enjoy your kiddos! God bless you!
    Susan

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  15. How fun is this!?!! I want to play with them too!! Definitely going on the Christmas List for the boys!

    That Inspired Chick

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  16. I need these like right now!!!! Seriously!! I've been trying to keep my boys entertained now that they have a little brother and these would be amazing.

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  17. They are fun with clear plastic tubing, funnels, plastic jars of all sizes with lids, in shaving cream, in water with handheld strainers,

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  18. Oh and a big, flat, under the bed, clear container works perfectly!

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  19. I teach pre-k and these are in my water and sand table ALL year! They are amazing, cheap and easy to clean.

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  20. My kids loved them too :) We didn't do the whole container so I just let mine dry up a bit and then placed them on a paper towel when they were almost back to small size and put them in a ziploc bag for another time! xoxo ERIN

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  21. Your video would make a darling commercial...better watch out or you may be in for a career change. These looked like an incredibly fun find!

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  22. We LOVE water beads! I put some in a shoebox sized tupperware so we can seal them overnight and they last probably a week or so until they get a bit gross. Another fun thing for your kids to use with them is an empty egg carton! I save one and Sadie goes nuts with it and a scooper.

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