Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Simple Fun with Waterbeads

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Waterbeads for Early Years Sensory Play
Waterbeads Sensory Play
Oh yes, it's a waterbead post. I know, you're all sick of hearing about waterbeads by now, you're wondering what the next big craze is going to be right? Well I'll be honest friends, I wasn't even planning on writing this post - part of my MO here is new ideas, creative twists, unexpected fun - and, well, I had no twist, no superfantastic way to make my beads glow or sign or levitate. I just had a bunch of waterbeads, a tupperware tub a few plastic spoons... and a lot of happy kids!

Waterbeads Sensory Play in Early Years

And that kinda got me thinking. Waterbeads might have been *done* all over the Internet, but they have never been done in my house. My son has never plunged his hands into a bowl of them, practised counting or sorting or colour recognition with them before. We have never made waterbead cupcakes or cups of tea or dinosaur swamps before.

Preschool Sensory Play with Waterbeads

And I realised sometimes we get all caught up in the superfantastic, quest for innovate original content - we forget to have fun. Now I'm not saying it's not fun when we make glow in the dark slime, re-use coffee grinds in our playdough or rip open a disposable nappy and create fake snow - all I'm saying is it doesn't always have to be that way! I'm always saying, the beauty of childhood is the joy they find in simple pleasures - this is something I need to take to heart!

Sensory Development for Toddlers

Sensory play shouldn't look difficult or flashy or particularly ingenious - it should look do-able, maybe a little messy and most of it should look like fun! After all your kiddos aren't going to want to get their hands stuck in (or feet or whole bodies) if they don't think it will be fun!

Early Years Sensory Development

So here is how we play with our waterbeads - a plastic tub, some bowls, measuring scoops and spoons, plastic toys (dinosaurs, natch), twisty drinking straws, plastic Easter Eggs, stuff I found in the recycling...

Sensorial Development in Toddlers

...like this old spice jar that Vinnie filled the make his own discovery bottles!

...and that is all. Stuff you have lying round your house, used in new ways is the best fun - for one it is cheap, it is accessible (no more waiting till mama has been shopping before we can play!) it is unexpected and it encourages your kiddos to use their imagination!

Waterbead Play for Preschoolers

p.s. if you're disappointed by the lack of superflashy ideas today - check out Growing a Jewelled Rose's UV Waterbeads, this waterbead slide, waterbeads and shaving foam from Dirt & Boogers, Nurturestore's Outer Space Play and Play At Home Mom's waterbead posts


  1. I think that the simple things can sometimes be the best - apart from our growing experiment we're not flash with the water beads yet J asks for them regularly to play with he enjoys counting, colour sorting and squishing them up.

  2. I sure appreciate this post. I see some pretty crazy ideas on Pinterest sometimes, and I often wonder what happened to good old finger painting ;) This is a great reminder that play is a CHILD'S work...not the parent's. Love it!

  3. Awesome post. I agree, our blogs don't need to be about topping each activity but about the fun things WE do with OUR kids. :)

  4. I so agree - post it if it's never been done at YOUR house! We still haven't played with water beads yet and we'll be posting a "boring" post one day :-) (You know what I mean, not that your post is boring at all ... loved it ... but I get what you're saying about no new twist!)

  5. Love this post! This is our favorite way to play with water beads. Thanks for the linky love too :)

  6. LOL, I love that you call our waterbead slide "superflashy". I need to do a post about using pool noodles... They are simple and waterproof!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Well, to my two year old it would definitely think it was superflashy! I remember seeing loads of pool noodle posts last year and wondering what on earth they were - we don't have them over here in the UK! I think you could do a great round-up post of ideas for pool noodles (painting, waterplay, building etc)

  7. This is a great post! The photos are AWESOME! And I love the message about the importance about blogging not being about outdoing each other! It should just all be about PLAYING AND HAVING FUN with our kids!

  8. Charlotte this is a great post! A timely reminder that it's never DONE until your child says it's done. I love how your photos spoke for themselves about your child's activities amongst a well written post about your ideas. The photo of Vin in the waterbead is fantastic...now I HAVEN'T seen that before! Thanks for linking up to the Kids Co-op!

  9. We never tire of water beads around here! I enjoy reading blogs not for the newest "superflashy" ideas that parent's/teacher's have come up with.. but simply for an insight into the fun the kids are having! Thanks for sharing :)


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