We've played with Water Beads before, and the kids have always had fun with them....but today, we made A TON of them. And it made all the difference....
Evan and I set up this "invitation," to borrow from Play At Home Mom, during a rare Quiet Time during which the younger two both fell asleep. We used about half of each of our blue and clear packets of water beads.
Water beads, often used in cut-flower arrangements, can be found in the floral section of most craft stores.
They are tiny beads that, when soaked in water for several hours, expand to marble-sized, squishy, clear gel balls that are super fun to scoop, pour, and slosh your hands through. They're also really cool to look through because, as Evan immediately pointed out, "They're kinda magical because they can turn the whole world upside down."
Or, one tiny head.
Because you could see right through them, Evan decided they would be even cooler to play with on the light table.
He was right.
When the others woke up, we had to relocate the bin to the floor because Molly wanted to play with them All. Afternoon. And I couldn't just stand next to her while she stood up on the bench and played all day...I had things to do. Things like take 100 pictures of her playing....
....and taking this simple sensory experience and turning it into a Full-Body Sensory Experience.
This was a huge hit. We learned here that, sometimes, bigger....or MORE....really is just waaaaaaayyy better. So skip the mini-bin and fill up the big boy. Fill up a deep bowl with them and sink your arms up to your elbows in there. Max has already suggested that we fill the bathtub with them next time. I don't know about that....but maybe a baby pool?
Best part is, you can leave water beads out and play with them for awhile, replacing water as needed. Then, when you're ready to fill your sensory bin with something new, dry the water beads out, let them shrink back down to original size, and put them away until next time.