Just before the school year ended I learned about the wonderful world of water beads.  My principal and our school’s Speech/Language Pathologists showed me their sensory bin full of these cool and soothing little beads of water.   I will not be able to properly describe to you how these water beads feel other than to say they feel like plastic beads full of water.  I find it to be peaceful and calming to sit and run my hands through the bin of water beads.

Immediately after my friends at work showed me their water bead sensory table I went home and ordered a bag of MarvelBeads on Amazon and two days later my students were enjoying the sensory experience themselves.  The bag of water beads was less than $7, and although it appeared small in size there were a great amount of tiny little beads waiting to become water beads in that bag.  The water beads were quite a hit in my classroom, and I made some for home as well.  There were only a few days left of school when I made the water beads, so we did not do much more with them than scoop and sort and play with the beads.  Next school year I plan to do so much more with water beads, and that is why I wrote this post!

“Making” the water beads could not be easier.  You measure the water, measure the beads, add them together and then wait for some hours.  Then BAM!  A bowl full of water beads!  I store our water beads in a shallow plastic container with a lid that I got from my local fish market, Keegan’s,  when I ordered a large batch of Salmon.  They keep really nicely in this box, but should they ever dry out the package says you can add  water to them to make them good again.

The packaging says that the beads are non-toxic, but I still kept a close eye on my students while they used the beads because I figure they may be non-toxic but still don’t seem like something I would want them snacking on.  It is also good to note that when the water beads are squished they leave a gooey mess behind, so that was a rule when we used the water beads in our class – no squishing!

Since I did not have much time at the end of the school year to really create some cool learning experiences with the water beads I did some heavy “research” on Pinterest this summer to put together a list of fun we can have next school year with the water beads.  I did the research for my own benefit in the classroom, but then I thought I’d share my ideas for others to use in their own preschool or homeschool classroom, or even for your own kids to keep busy in your kitchen while you cook dinner.  Be sure to comment below if you have questions or more ideas for water beads!

10 Ideas for Preschool Fun with Water Beads:

10 Ways to Learn with Water Beads from Teaching Everyday

Frozen Water Beads from Busy Toddler

Marble Run Sensory Table from the OT Toolbox

Painting with Water Beads from Parenting Chaos

Playful Science:  Exploring Water Beads on the Light Table from Danya Banya

Pond Life Sensory Play with Water Beads from Kids Play Box

Space Water Bead Sensory Bin from 3 Dinosaurs

Water Beads for Speech Therapy from SLP Now

Water Beads Sensory Window Bag from Parenting Chaos

Water Bead Sensory Bottles from Parenting Chaos