Friday, January 20, 2012

Water Bead Play

More activities from these mom blogs:
Play At Home Mom
Chasing Cheerios

Fun with Water Beads:
I had no idea how these things worked. Play at Home Mom uses them all the time and LOVES them so I had to give them a try.  My father-in-law also had recently, randomly just given me a light box he found at a thrift store, thinking I may find a use for it. (um, yes!). I bought a clear plastic bin and taped the light box to the bottom, knowing how my kids like to discover! I dumped all the water beads in the bin. They come as teeny tiny balls in little plastic packs in the fake flower section.  So I poured water over them, thinking they would just start growing before my eyes, absorbing all the water. I dimmed the lights and turned on the light box then brought my kids in to play and explore.  Oops! Should have read the instructions!  It takes hours for the beads to fully expand.  I think my kids were like, "Okay, this isn't all that cool, mom."  So we bailed for an hour or so and played outside. 

When we revisited, the beads were somewhat larger.  Still not full size.   They were pretty cool at this point though.  You can see them almost full size in the last picture.  They feel a little slimy and are so interesting. I gave the kids spoons and containers to fill and spill. I kept urging them to keep the beads in the bin but that began to exhaust me, so I let them splash some. I had previously spread an old blanket over the floor (not knowing what to expect). So whenever one of the boys dumped a bowl of the beads on the floor, we'd put them all back in the bin together.  I tried to just let them play freely but I'm such a control freak and fear having a giant mess to clean when we finish!  I guess I'm telling you this because I was tired after the water bead play!!!  I guess the more they use them and I enforce a rule to keep them in the bin, the more they'll know what type of play is acceptable. I don't even know if they would stain the carpet. I don't think so.  But then I kept thinking if a bead went flying and was never put back, one of the boys would later find it and think it was a fruit snack! 

Anyway, we played with them again later that evening. When finished, I saved all the beads in a mason jar.  Since this first day, we've played with them one other time and I hope to get a few more uses. I have no idea how long they last.

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