Water Beads

by Emily on July 18, 2012

A few weeks ago I was looking around for some summer fun activities to do with Pip when I came across water beads.  I had never even heard of them (apparently I live under a rock)!  Somewhere in my clicking and opening a million tabs on the computer and I ended up on a morning talk show with a science guy teaching us about the wonders of water beads for use in the home as well as fun times with the kids.  This looked like fun but I wondered if I’d ever run into them.

During a trip to Ellensburg last week, my Mom, Pip and I were at a home decor store and they had a display with various colors and I snapped at the opportunity to bring them home!  Here’s the tube of clear beads.  I purchased the clear ones because I learned from the science guy above, that if you put food coloring in the water, the beads will absorb the color.

Here are the teeny, tiny beads in the water.  I only used half of the tube of beads for this first attempt.

Then, as I slept, the beads went to work!  I woke to find this peaceful bowl of water but….low and behold look what lurks under the waters…

This is where my lovely assistant Pip comes in, and just a tiny little shuffle in the water reveals lots of fun!  The water beads that have grown so much larger than even I imagined.

Now, that’s Pip little hand and you can see for scale the size of those beads!  And then how calm the water looks now that her hand isn’t squirming around in it.  This is where we insert lots of laughter and squeals!  She thought it was a strange sensation and super slippery to try to hold.  Little beads kept popping out of her hands and all over the dining room.  Just found another one hiding today that I missed in my clean up efforts!

I believe the original use of water beads is for floral displays and it certainly makes sense.  You add the fully inflated beads to a vase and the water slowly seeps out refreshing the flowers along their hydrated path.  Then, as luck would have it, you just need to add more water to inflate the beads again.  The vase below is jammed full of water beads.  Isn’t this a great idea if you’re headed out on a vacation and need to water your flowers?

I also found a couple other useful sites that give other fun, kid-friendly uses for water beads!  Check out:

Teach Preschool: The wonderful world of water beads  and

The Chocolate Muffin Tree: 32 ways to play with water beads

I highly recommend picking up a tube of these fun little beads to play with, or just to water your flowers!  And so glad that Sid and Pip decided to bring home flowers for me in Pip’s favorite colors so that I could open up this tube-o-fun!

Let me know if you know of other uses for water beads!





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