Messy and Sensory Play with Gelli and Water Beads

We have come across water beads at toddler group and I was fascinated by them. At toddler group Bee didn’t seem too fussed by them as she was busy playing outdoors but I decided to get some to use at home.

Water Beads

I have never come across them before but apparently they are used with flowers and have become pretty popular as sensory play with the little ones.  There are plenty of ideas online on how to use them, but as it was the first time I was trying them out, I decided to keep it simple.

Munchkin was interested in the whole hydrating process as the water beads come very small and you have to soak them for 6-8 hours before you can use them.

Water beads hydrating

You have to be careful that these aren’t ingested so if you are using these with young children then please use your judgement as to whether they are suitable for your child. Bee does have a habit of putting things in her mouth but I watched her like a hawk and she didn’t even attempt to eat them and was quite happy using a spoon to transfer them into a pot.

Fun with water Beads

Since hydrating these I have discovered that you can actually get edible water beads so that if you are concerned that your child may want to swallow these then they are an alternative option.

The girls had fun playing with the beads and feeling their texture. Munchkin just wanted to try to squash them and see what would happen! And even the cat joined in on the fun.

Water Bead fun


Cat playing with water bead

Another great sensory play is with Gelli Play/bath. This is powder that when mixed with water turns into gelli and with another powder turns back into water.

Gelly Play 1

Bee was very uncertain about it at first and tried to stop her sister from putting her hands in it! Eventually she couldn’t wait to jump into it and feel it squishing between her toes.

Exploring Gelli PlayMunchkin enjoyed it as much as Bee. They had fun sticking their hands in and feeling it all squishy between their hands and Munchkin put in her zoo animals and covered them all it.

Gelly play sensory funThe Gelli will be great fun in the summer as I can make it up and leave it in the garden for them to make as much mess as they want! When Bee got bored she had decided to start throwing it about, which isn’t really ideal indoors but it hoovered up OK!



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