Water Beads Sensory Play

Lots of Water Bead Activities for Hours of Sensory Fun

Great activities for Autistic Children


Water beads are the ultimate sensory experience for kids.  They are cold, wet, soft, squishy. They hit almost all of the senses and are so much fun to play with.

What can you do with water beads? So much!

What Are Water Beads

First let’s talk about what water beads are. The original purpose of water beads was for florists to use in arrangements. They hold a ton of water and keep flowers and plants hydrated- and look amazing in vases!

Over the years they’ve become more and more popular with parents and teachers to explore with kids. They are great for science experiments and sensory play.

Water beads comes dehydrated. Just a small amount will give your kids hours of enjoyment! I used 1 Tablespoon of water beads to do all of the below activities and still have a ton left in the bag.

You can get water beads from us. Just click here: Magic Water Beads

How to Hydrate Water Beads

To rehydrate your water beads, measure out about a tablespoon of dehydrated beads and place them in a large bowl or glass jar.

Fill the container with water and allow them to sit for a few hours.

You may have to add additional water as the beads grow- they soak up a LOT of water!

When the water beads are about the size of a marble and smooth on all sides- they are ready for play!


Water Bead Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Note: Know your child. If your toddler still puts things in his mouth, hold off on this activity or keep a close eye on him.

Water Bead Sensory Bin

This is the most obvious use for water beads. Fill up a bin, add some spoons, bowls, scoops, maybe a sea animal or 2 and let your preschooler explore!

This water bead activity should hold their attention for a long time!


Pouring Water Beads

My little guys love to pour. And it’s a great skill! This water bead activity takes a steady hand a the ability to go slow.

Water beads are bouncy when they are fully hydrated so your preschooler has to be slow to pour the beads back and forth without them bouncing all over the table!


Sorting Colored Water Beads

Make learning colors fun with this water bead activity!

I gave my son a bowl with only about 40 water beads in 5 different colors. Then I gave him 5 small bowls to sort them.

Once they are sorted- pour them back together and do it again!

Squished Water Beads

Part of the sensory experience is to allow your child to explore. And this sometimes means destroying!

Water Beads have a lot of surface tension, so encourage your child to squeeze the beads to see if he can break them.

This often turns into water beads flying all over the room!

They can experiment ways to squish the beads- pinching, using the whole hand, a hammer- give them different tools to see how they can break them into pieces.

Transferring Water Beads

Water beads are pretty slippery when wet- so this activity can be tricky!

Tweezers are near impossible to use with water beads, but large tongs- or even a small strawberry huller- should be able to pick them  up and move them.

Frozen Water Beads

Add just one more sensory element by freezing your water beads.

They freeze pretty quick and turn into little balls of ice that are fun to do all of the above activities with.

The water beads will start to fall apart as they defrost- so it’s a good thing to do at the end of a playing session.

Water Bead Activities for Older Kids

Stringing Water Beads

Older kids like to play too! We tried to thread water beads on wooden skewers- but that didn’t turn out well (lots of broken marbles!) But older kids who can handle a needle and thread can very carefully thread water marbles.

Be slow or they will break!

More Water Bead Activities

Still looking for more water bead activities? Here are some super fun ones from other moms:

Water Bead Slime

Water Beads and Mud

Water Beads and Shaving Cream

Water Bead Stress Ball