• Susie Robbins

How To: Water Beads Play


Water beads or orbeez are small absorbant polymer balls, that when soaked in water grow in size! They make a great base for sensory play and are so versatile! Most are not toxic, but probably best not to use these with a mouthing child, apart from idea numbers 7 and 8! Here are my favourite ways to play with them:


1) For an experiment add the dehydrated beads to a bowl of water and observe how much they have grown in 24hrs. You may need to top up the water to get maximum growth.

2) Water play- keep them in the bowl of water and run your hands in them. Add scoop, spoons and cups to encourage some early maths skills.

3) Add them to an empty jar and hold it up to the sun- they’re so beautiful in the light! You could also fill the jar with either: baby oil or water for different effects.


4) Freeze them! You don’t need to add extra water, but you can if you like. My favourite way is to pop just the beads into a container and freeze them for an hour or so, so that they are still separate and not one frozen lump.


5) Water beads and shaving foam is a dreamy (and messy) combinatoon! I guarantee that even you will want to get stuck in. Plus it looks a little like ice cream and sprinkles on top!

6) Marble Run! We’ve had great fun pinging water beads down our Gravity Main marble run! They are bouncy though so be prepared for them to ping around everywhere!


7) Use a funnel to fill a balloon full of waterbeads to make your own stress ball!


8) Add the water beads to a zip locker bag and tape it to the tray of a high tray as a busy bag.

Happy Playing!

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