How to Have Fun with Water Beads

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23-01-2018, 11:00
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Water beads are squishy, colorful gel beads that provide fun and learning for all ages. Their texture provides a fun sensory experience for toddlers, and school-age children can use them for craft and science projects. Even adults can have fun with these soft jewel-like beads. Water beads are available at online sites like Amazon, and at craft stores. You can buy them in single colors, or multicolored packets, and in small or large quantities, depending on how you want to use them.

Having Fun for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. Prepare the water beads.
    • Measure out 2 teaspoons of beads into a bowl or dish.
    • Add 1 quart of water.
    • Let stand for approximately 6 to 8 hours to hydrate completely.
    • Get ready to have a fun, messy experience!
  2. Making a sensory bin.
    • Take a plastic bin and add hydrated beads.
      • Let the kids enjoy picking up and squeezing beads.
      • Add cups, buckets, and other containers for the kids to use with the beads.
  3. Having fun with beads on a light table.
    • You can purchase a light table from a hobby store, or make an easy, inexpensive table like the one suggested by Tinker Lab:
      • Take a clear plastic under-the-bed style storage box (approximately 35 quarts is sufficient) with a lid.
      • Line the lid with white tissue paper and tape in place.
      • Spread a string of Christmas lights around the bottom of the container.
        • Let the light cord dangle outside the box to plug in. You should be able to close the lid on the box.
      • Place water beads and other colorful translucent objects on the top of the box.
      • Invent ways to play. The only limit is your imagination!

Making Edible Water Beads

  1. Make water beads from tapioca.
    • You will need:
      • One package of Boba Tea pearls. These can be obtained online or at most supermarkets.
      • Food dye
      • Shallow plastic bin
      • Small saucepan
    • Fill a small saucepan with water, add in food dye, and bring to a boil over high heat.
    • Reduce heat to medium and add in 2-3 handfuls of tapioca pearls. Allow the pearls to boil until they begin to float and start looking transparent.
    • Once the pearls are floating, drain and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
    • Set aside to cool and repeat for every desired color.
    • Once they are cool, get ready to have fun!

Making Gummy Candy Beads

  1. Buy your favorite gummy treats and cut them up into small pieces.
    • Now you have a fun toy and a tasty snack.
  2. Make healthy gummy snacks. Concerned about the sugar and artificial ingredients in gummy snacks? Make these popular homemade snacks.
    • You will need these ingredients:
      • 3 1/4-oz packets unflavored gelatin
      • 4 (3 ounce) boxes flavored gelatin (any flavor)
      • 4 cups boiling water
    • Put the flavored and unflavored gelatin in a bowl. Add the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
    • Pour into a 9 X 13 inch pan. Cool in refrigerator for four to five hours or until firm.
    • Cut into squares of desired size.
    • Enjoy having a toy to play with and a squishy treat!

Having Fun for Older Children

  1. Make Water Bead Slime.
    • You will need these ingredients:
      • Two Five-Ounce containers of Clear School Glue
      • Liquid starch
      • Water Beads
        • Hydrate the water beads according to directions
    • Pour the two containers of school glue into a bowl.
    • Gradually add the starch until the mixture begins to stick together. Keep adding starch until the mixture no longer sticks to your fingers.
    • Add the fully hydrated water beads to the slime.
    • Have fun stretching and squeezing the slime!
  2. Freeze water beads.
    • Put the hydrated water beads in clear plastic cups and cover with water.
    • Place in the freezer until completely frozen.
    • Use your imagination playing games with the cold toys.
  3. Hydrate water beads with tonic water to make black-light beads.
    • Using a black-light flashlight or lamp, you can create a fun science lesson or just let your kids play.

Warnings

  • Playing with water beads can be messy. Make sure children play in an area that can be easily cleaned.
  • Although water beads are made from a nontoxic polymer, they are not edible. If your child is inclined to put things in his/her mouth, use edible beads.
  • Even edible beads are potential choking hazards. Make sure your child has appropriate supervision.
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