Thursday, December 13, 2012

Water Bead Exploration

I have a fondness for water beads. They are interesting to play with and are fairly inexpensive to purchase. We bought three packs of blue ones last week and I thought it might be fun to explore them again. (They are not suitable for very young children as they could be a choking hazard).

Usually we put the water beads in water overnight so that when we wake up they are ready to play with. This time I thought it would be fun to play with them as they expanded. We placed the beads in our portable water table with more water than required. I added in some tools to play with (e.g., funnels, tubes, cups, spoons) and invited Caleb to play with the beads while we waited for them to expand. 

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!

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