OMG. WATER BEADS! SQUEAL! For me, it was LOVE at first sight. Or feel. Or both. I think my BFF would agree. There is something so magical about them that I rank them right up there with unicorns and See’s candies (we will save that LOVE affair post for another time).
Read on to find out more about my obsession!
A few months ago, I told my brother that I saw these really cool things on Pinterest called “water beads” (a colorful, crystal polymer water substitute for plants and flowers that are also great for sensory play). He was totally disinterested and unimpressed with my new-found obsession. It was like what I was telling him was old news. Like ancient news. What?!? How could it be?!?! He knew something that I didn’t? (Wink) The good news is his boredom didn’t defeat me. It fueled my mission to find them. That second. (And I did on Amazon, of course.)
However, before I could press “add to cart” he finally managed to “use his words” and said, “I’ll send you some. We have a bunch. We used them as party favors for Colin’s birthday.” (Uh YAY! & Genius idea!)
When they arrived I was a wee bit disappointed. What my brother sent were little pre-portioned packets of things that resembled nonpareils sprinkles, not the brightly colored bouncy squishy sparkly transparent little nuggets of cool distraction I had found while wasting time on Pinterest. Strike two. My brother had managed to kill my buzz again!
I put them aside for a while (okay, I flung them in a box with other kid type chemistry-ish projects that I had hoped to get to with my little guy at some point…once I could get over my pseudo-compulsive need to keep my house spotless) and then one day while I was re-organizing that kid chemistry-ish box they jumped out at me as if I was standing underneath a quadruple rainbow and they were on their way home.
Boom! That LOVE at first sight feeling hit me all over again! With unapologetic excitement I grabbed the “nonpareils” (errr water bead party favor packet), showed them to my little guy and together we set out to explore the word of color bead bliss
WARNING: Water beads can be a choking hazard so they are not recommended for children under 3. Also, keep away from curious pets.
CHECK OUT IMAGES OF WATER BEAD BLISS BELOW
Water beads can be played with in many ways! We mostly just love feeling them in our hands, but also enjoy separating them into colors, counting them, and watching them bounce on the floor. They also work well as a calming activity and are ideal for flower, plant and floating candle arrangements.
In the forefront of this photo, you can see the original size of the water beads. In the background are the size they expand to.
In this photo, you can see the different sizes of the water beads. This is partly due to the amount of time they spent in water and in some cases the size of the original bead. (The white beads are larger than all of the other beads even when they are in their original state.)
Here’s another comparison photo of the beads before they are soaked in water and at full capacity. They absorb over 100 times their weight in water to form squishy glass-like pearls that slowly release water back into their environment as their water evaporates.
This final photo is what they look like close up and the reason why me (and my little guy) fell in LOVE at first sight. Don’t you just want to hug the brightly colored bouncy squishy sparkly transparent little nuggets of cool distraction!?!?!
Apparently you can reuse the same beads for a couple of years if you dehydrate and rehydrate per the instructions that come with the beads. You can also store them in an airtight containter when you aren’t using them. So far we’ve had no need. They’ve been played with every day for over a week and there is no sign of an impending break-up.
We hope you get a chance to experience the magic of water beads too, because if you can’t already tell, WE LOVE THIS STUFF!