April 12, 2012

Water Bead Sensory Bin

I can’t say where exactly I first saw the idea of using these fun little floral water beads as a sensory material. It’s been all over the blogs and Pinterest, and I can see why. They feel amazing. Red kept saying, “It’s squishy!” They are really, really fun.

That said, they are also a little challenging. I didn’t realize it when I started, but the little beads bounce when you drop them. Red innocently tried to scoop some onto a tray, and they bounced off and went ricocheting across our hardwood floor. And they are not fun to try to pick up since they are so slippery. So what started inside on a mat quickly got modified before I turned into ‘no fun mom.’

We took a snack break while I reassessed the water bead situation. I dug out an even bigger bin and took the whole mess outside.

This did wonders for my stress-level, and it turned out to be even more fun when you use a bigger tub, because you can do this:

And this.

And this.

Just look at this expression of joy.


  1. Where do you buy the water beads and about how much do they cost. I don't think I've seen them in stores, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place?

    1. I got them at Hobby Lobby in the floral department. I bet you can find them at any craft store. Here is a link to the brand I bought:


      I can't remember the exact price, but it wasn't over $5. I made 2 pouches worth for this post.

    2. thank you, Lauren. I wondered the same thing!~

  2. We have been having fun with crystal water beads, and I would have never thought to bring them outside. Good to know they are safe for the garden. I hope you come by and share this tomorrow at The Outdoor Play Party.