Monday, November 4, 2013

Water Bead Sensory Bin

So I know you've all seen these all over pinterest and the internet in general. These water beads are super popular right now as a sensory material, and I can totally understand why. They're fascinating little buggers, even for adults! I had never given them a try, but I've seen them around for a long time now and have wanted to play around with them.
A while back I decided that it would be fun to hit the dollar store every once in a while and just wander through to see what I can find. I think last time I spent about $10 and got enough fun stuff to keep us busy for a while. One of the things I found was a box of water beads, and for a dollar I was willing to give them a try. They are such bright pretty colors and look like candy, so Erik and I had a nice little talk about how we CANNOT eat these, and for the most part he did really well with that. I think the only time he moved to put them in his mouth was to get a reaction out of me, not because he actually wanted to eat them. We talked about how small they were, and tried to squeeze them to see if they were hard or soft. Then we added in the water and waited for them to grow. And waited. And waited.
 We went and played for a while, but kept coming back to check the progress of our water beads and to talk about how they were changing and growing. Erik has been interested in colors lately, so we talked a lot about the different colors we were seeing. After several hours they'd finished growing and we spent a long time just playing in the tub of beads. Erik loved it!
 When he seemed to be losing interest, I added in a few cups and scoops and we got to practice scooping and pouring. He was really enjoying discovering this new material, even his toes had to get involved...
This was  a great, inexpensive way to keep my busy boy out of trouble and engaged in something. If you want cheap, easy, low-mess fun than water beads are for you. I loved all the opportunities they gave us to develop language as we had a natural conversation about what we were seeing and feeling. They were beautiful and interesting and a whole lot of fun!

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