13 Fabulous Water Bead Ideas

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We love water beads at our house. From my toddler to my twelve year old, all my kids enjoy the sensory play that these magic beads provide. I always try to work them into my co-op class themes whenever possible. I love watching the preschool class play with them. I had one child who loved putting her entire upper body into the container of beads. One little boy loved crushing them, while another wanted to throw them and watch them bounce. There are so many things you can do with water beads!

I use these water beads from Amazon. 20,000 beads are less than ten dollars, and they last FOREVER. You can also buy them at Hobby Lobby in the floral section, but the quantity is much smaller, and the cost is more.

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You can also buy these that are separated by color and contains 60,000 beads. This is great for when you are working with a theme (like making red blood cells for science).

We like to add lemon extract to our water. It smells amazing! I see a lot of moms using essential oils, but essential oils don’t mix in water, and I don’t want my toddler covering her hands in them for an hour.

We also use these scoops.


I usually use just two tablespoons of beads. A little goes a long way.

When you add water, the beads will start expanding right away.

After a few hours, your beads will be large enough to play with.

The longer you leave them in the water, the larger they get.

I usually close the drain in the tub and let my toddler play in there. DO NOT put water beads down your drain.

If you wanted to go big, you could use more beads and fill a kiddie pool with them. A kiddie pool is great for when the weather is nice outside because water beads bounce. We found lots of them in the bathroom floor after this round of play.

There are also GIANT water beads! 


There are lots of creative things you can do with water beads. 

You can made a sensory window like this one from Parenting Chaos. 

water bead activites
Source: Parenting Chaos

You can use shaving cream and water beads to make shaving cream cupcakes like Mess For Less. 

Photo source: Mess For Less

Check out this whale themed water bead table from Living Montessori Now

Photo source: Living Montessori Now

Paint with water beads like Growing a Jeweled Rose

Photo source: Growing a Jeweled Rose

You can give scissor scoops a try like Gift of Curiosity

Photo source: Gift of Curiosity

Sensory bottles are great with water beads. I found this bottle on Play & Learn Everyday.

Photo source: Play & Learn Everyday

This water bead slime from I Can Teach My Child looks like lots of fun!

Photo source: I Can Teach My Child

Go Science Girls made these glowing water beads

Photo Source: Go Science Girls

This jelly bead squishy ball

How cute is the space themed sensory bin from 3 Dinosaurs?

Photo Source: 3 Dinosaurs

Kids Activities Blog mixes flowers and water beads for a natural play experience

Photo Source: Kids Activities Blog

Water bead goop by A Little Learning for Two

Photo Source: A Little Learning for Two

A Water Bead Marble Run from Marissa’s Mommy Moments

Photo Source: Marissa’s Mommy Moments


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