Water Beads!

Okay, so I know that pretty much most all of the mommy bloggers have already beat me to this, but seriously, if you haven't tried them, get some! I have been wanting to try water beads in sensory play for some time now, but never got around to buying any, and then a super sweet friend of mine said "oh, I bought a bunch on clearance, you can have them!" How could I turn that down? I have seriously awesome friends =) If you aren't familiar with water beads, they are intended for flower arrangements, but are safe and non-toxic, stating the obvious here, but don't let kids eat them! I went over this before I got them out, and even the almost-two year old said "no moush, ucky" So I didn't have that issue, but I stayed close by to monitor.

I had I think five small packages, 10g each some were small, and some were large, and that filled this rather large container that is meant to hold two pounds of pretzel rods:
Now, we probably do sensory play a little differently than most people, I know most people have a large communal table, and I have one too, but this group doesn't tend to do well in that setting, especially with a new, exciting item. While I recognize that it's very important for them to share and get along, I also find that when introducing them to something new like this, it helps if everyone has their own private sensory "bin" and a communal pile of toys, I don't do this for the standard sand table, and I won't do this every time with the water beads, but for the first few times, I will. It cuts the chaos in half! 

Here they are enjoying their own "bins", I like to put most of them at the same table still, as I realize that social development is an important part of sensory play, and trust me, their was PLENTY of that going on!

I gave the littles their own in their booster chairs, but put them right next to the big kids, no she is not eating it, she refused to touch it with her hands for the first several minutes, she's examining it closely =)

I kept the "tools" very simple and familiar, since it was their first time with them, sand sifters, whisks, and slotted spoons.

And of course, we had to see if we could break them, and what they looked like when broken:

It was great fun, and they all enjoyed it, and played with them twice today, and I'm sure we haven't seen the last of the water beads!