Safe Water Beads
Updated: May 17, 2020
Hello Folks :),
So I have just ordered a sensory table for my 2.5 year old charge, and something I wanted to introduce her to was water beads. My initial reaction was, are they made out of plastic? After some research I discovered that water beads are in fact biodegradable. So they got the thumbs up on that front, but then I thought about how she still puts many, many things in her mouth. I certainly didn't want to run the risk of her a) eating a water bead, or b) even more importantly choking on one.
So I decided to make my own.
The benefits of this activity:
This is not difficult at all, and only requires 3 ingredients.
They are super soft to touch, but are hard so can't be easily squished.
These are wonderful for sensory development.
No color is transferred to the hands.
You can control the size of the beads.
You don't have to be concerned your child is consuming something not edible.
Builds fine motor skills and develops your child cognitively both creating this activity and playing with the water beads.
If you have children's chopsticks or children's tweezers, this is a great opportunity to help develop their pincer grip.
What you will need:
* Rice Flour, or Glutenous Rice Flour
* Food Coloring
* This will make 1 color of bead *
Place 1 cup of flour in a bowl.
Fill a jug between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of water and add a good squeeze of food coloring.
Slowly pour water into the flour and mix, we are looking for a playdough consistency. If you need to add more water, do so, but if you add too much water by accident, simply add more flour until it looks roughly like this:
You can either pinch a desired amount and roll into a small ball. Or, a tip which makes this a little quicker, is to roll the dough into little sausages and cut into slices. Then roll each slice into a ball.
Remember, they don't have to be perfectly round. This is a great activity to do with children and can be very relaxing.
Place on a baking sheet.
Once all your beads have been made, simply place in boiling water for 3 minutes.
You will see that they start to rise in the pot once they are cooked.
Remove your beads and place them in running cold water until they are cooled.
Pop into a container or into your sensory table, and provide a variety of spoons, toys, miniature toy pinchers, cups and anything else you have that the children can play with and explore!
When not using, store in an air tight container and keep in the fridge. They will keep for several days.