I’ve been reading a lot lately about how great water beads are for the sensory and light tables and how much kids love them! So, I wanted to give them a try in my classroom. They sure looked awesome on all the blogs I saw them on and I knew my kids would love them! So, after reading that people were able to find them at the Dollar Tree (what teacher doesn’t love the dollar store?) I went to find some!
I was a little bummed that all my store had was clear water beads. But I bought them just the same (6 jars to be exact, all they had left). To add some color I found some plastic jewels in the craft section in various sizes and colors…I bought a pack of each color. So, today my kids got to play with the water beads for the first time!
I don’t have a sensory table, so I use an under the bed storage container, big enough for 2 kids to comfortably play together at a time. I would have loved to put the container on the light table, but I don’t have one of those either, so we made due. I put in some scoops and bowls and let them explore.
It was love at first touch! Haha! They love just running their hands through them and exploring the texture. Then they start to scoop and and pick them up, and drop them watching them bounce off one another. Then some kids start to sort the plastic jewels (their “treasures”). So much going on in one simple activity.
Other kids gather around the table to watch and wait their turn. They are very patient. They stand quietly. The children talk about how it feels and what they observe. They point out the sizes and colors of the jewels (and some even point out the different shades of the color families). Some notice how the beads are so clear they can see their fingers through them. And the jewels. They call them marbles or bubbles. They laugh. They tell me they like them. And I watch. I ask questions. I make sure water beads don’t get popped or eaten. But mostly I just enjoy their reactions to this new sensory world.