They started to absorb water almost instantly and it was interesting to see Caleb observe that the beads fit into all funnels at the beginning of his play, but as they expanded they were no longer able to.
The beads added another dimension to the water table and sustained his interest for almost two hours of uninterrupted play!
As the beads got larger his play changed in response.
Once the beads became fully formed we drained the extra water (if they absorb too much they become very fragile and will split easily) and Caleb continued to explore them with the tools. What fun!