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With all the sensory bins we’ve been doing lately, we just couldn’t leave out one of our favorite sensory materials! Water beads provide so much sensory goodness plus some fine motor practice. I’m not talking about using our handy scoopers from Learning Resources, which we love and also provide many hand strengthening benefits. I’m talking about when the kids inevitably pick up a ball and squeeze it until it pops… now that takes skill.
For this activity we also used spider, ghost, and hat acrylic vase fillers from Hobby Lobby, our memory card printable for sorting, and mini cauldrons from Walmart
Now that you've had tons of fun playing... did you know you can clean your water beads with soap and water? Well you can... and then you can repurpose them for another activity. I try to make our beads last at least 3-4 activities before tossing them. Unless the kids start throwing them, then all bets are off and what comes next is usually not pretty.
I found these awesome, um no idea what they are but we’ll call them “cups with a lid that has a funnel like hole”, (update: it's been pointed out that these may in fact be ashtrays) and perfect for pressing water beads through. I found them at Dollar Tree in the automotive department. I added colored dot stickers to the cups for some sorting. We also added shaving cream because it’s always a hit, and water for rinsing.