Tag Archives: Water Beads

Lots of water play

This afternoon we had our home education group meeting at our house. Being so hot (again) I put out lots of water for the kids to play in and with. We still had the paddling pool out and I put some water beads in the tuff spot. I also put out a large bowl of water and the water table. 18.07.13Jasmine spent a long time playing with the water beads while the boys found the water pistols in the shed and a water fight began! Actually mostly what it looked like was the kids against Gordon! They also squirted the slide and enjoyed sliding down a little faster on the “water slide”

We ended the day having dinner with Caterpillar Tales. Hot Dogs and Lego Star Wars on DVD. The perfect end to a great day!


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Paint-balling with water beads (and other balls)

Today we used the last of the water beads from last week. We used them to paint in the Tuff Spot.

I set it up by lining the Tuff Spot with paper and blotting paint of different colours in it. In a large bowl I put the water beads, along with some plastic play balls and a tennis ball. I gave the kids a straw and a wooden stirrer each.

They blew the balls through the straws, pushed with the stirrers, rolled with their hands and bounced the water beads on to the paper.

The kids didn’t spend a long time on the activity because they had also discovered the play sand was dry enough to play with this morning, so sand won over painting! But the time they did spend they did enjoy and we are all agreed that the finished painting looks really good!

Edspire  Messy Play

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Moon Sand & Water Beads – possibly not a good idea

Today has been difficult.

Actually that is not entirely true because this morning we had a great time at a local park, running and exploring.

This afternoon however, was not quite as good as it could have been.

The plan was to play with the moon sand and water beads. Jasmine had asked for a beach scene so I set her up in one of the gravel trays. In the tuff spot I also set up a beach scene for the boys and then I placed some more water beads in a separate tray with a little bit of shaving foam at one end so they could mix them together if they chose to.

Jasmine started by creating her beach scene with a playmobil boy, some pebbles and a twig we’d collected this morning, a toy car, a couple of pine cones and a toy tree. She made up stories, adding bits and pieces to the scene as she needed.

Thomas began by playing in the tray with the water beads and shaving foam. He asked me if he could mix them together and I said yes, he could do if he wanted. He spent a few minutes picking beads and foam up in a small pot and mixing them in a larger bowl, before deciding that actually he didn’t want them “dirty”, and he needed them cleaned NOW. I should have realised at that moment how the rest of the afternoon was going to go! After a few minutes of temper, he calmed down and I agreed to rinse the beads as long as he realised that I would only do it once and if he didn’t want foam on the beads, he shouldn’t put foam on the beads! He then did actually play calmly with them for a while, counting them and lining them up on a duplo baseboard again and transferring them from one container to another using a spoon.

Ben played with the sand and water beads in the gravel tray. He started by driving his diggers round in the beads, then moved to the sand and drove some vehicles in there. He spent a lot of time watching Jasmine and copying what she was doing, so when she got playmobil motorbike out, he wanted one as well (lucky we have 2!). When Jasmine got a “house” for her person, Ben wanted one as well.

After a while, Thomas moved over to the Tuff Spot and the boys started making ramps and hills out of sand for the playmobil bikes to race up and down (and smash into pieces!) Thomas also started burying some of the water beads in the sand.

As it was getting close to the time I needed to start tidying everything away for dinner, and everyone was finally playing nicely together, I decided to begin taking out some of the water beads that weren’t being played with as the boys were playing with the bikes and ramps.

I had already made a couple of trips to the kitchen when I came back into the living room again to find the boys throwing moon sand across the room 😦

I’m afraid to say the play was stopped there and then. I took them upstairs to clean them up and suggested they stay there while I tidied up – although perhaps “strongly suggested” would be a better description!

I was so disappointed. Obviously when we do messy play I expect mess.. in fact I plan for it and put loads of towels down on the floor so they can pour, tip and mix to their hearts content. But I won’t have throwing, and the kids all know this.

What made it worse for me is that, usually, the kids are really good when we do messy play. They really enjoy it and are so engrossed in what they are doing that doing something that they know is wrong just wouldn’t happen.

I don’t know what was different today. They love the water beads. They love the moon sand. Maybe I gave them too many choices of things to play with this afternoon? Maybe it was just destined to happen today?

So the afternoon ended on a pretty negative note for me.

But tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow we’ll try something else.. probably in the garden though 😉

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Oats, Water and Water Beads.

This morning was another morning of reading Star Wars books for Thomas followed by watching our newest DVD – Lego Star Wars The Empire Strikes Out. I have to admit, its a good DVD!

Jasmine was busy writing. She added more items to her Christmas list. I probably shouldn’t encourage her to keep thinking about more and more things she wants for Christmas , but it does get her writing and I like that!


This afternoon we went to visit our friends, Caterpillar Tales, again. In preparation for an afternoon of messy play they had set up their Tuff Spot with oats, Shreddies and farm animals. My kids loved it (both playing with it and eating it!) It started off indoors, but as it was so lovely outside (and my boys were getting quite, um, enthusiastic shall we say!), we moved outdoors.

Of course, as soon as we moved outdoors the boys lost interest in the farm play. But they found water to play with instead!

After another lovely afternoon playing outdoors, we came home and had a quick play with some water beads before dinner.

The water beads only arrived with us this morning and I had only prepared one small bag as a test, but we’ve never used them before so the kids were all enthralled with them. We had been looking at them throughout the day and watching them grow and grow from tiny little beads to marble sized balls.

I gave the kids a small bowl each, and the first thing Thomas said was that they looked like molecules! He demonstrated molecules in a solid, by filling the bowl so full that the water beads couldn’t move, then he took some out so the remaining beads could move a little and told me he’d made it a liquid! Honestly, my kids never fail to amaze me!

They got some Octonauts toys out and played with them in their bowls for a bit, they asked for containers so they could pour the beads and Thomas spent a lot of time counting his. Whilst they were playing I spent a bit of time on google looking for other ideas on water bead play and found this post, which includes an excellent fine motor practice game using water beads and a duplo base board.  I showed the kids and they were keen to have a go themselves. Thomas lined all his beads up, Ben scattered his around and Jasmine drew a picture with hers!

I know we are going to have fun with our water beads and I have lots of ideas of things we can do with them. Tomorrow however I am hoping to use an idea that Jasmine had and make a beach scene using some of the moon sand we have left and some water beads as the sea. I’m fairly certain I’ll have to set this scene up twice though; one scene for Jasmine to play with and one for the boys. Its a good job I have plenty of large trays!

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