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Edible Water Beads: A Fun and Safe Alternative to Water Beads {Fun Sensory Play!}

Edible Water Beads {Fun Sensory Play!}

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Edible water beads are so much fun and are great for sensory play! They are something that will literally entertain the kids for HOURS! We started out using traditional water beads, which the kids loved but they aren’t natural and with all the warnings about them, it just didn’t seem like a great idea to continue using them.

If you’re looking for a fun and safe alternative (and less messy – these don’t break apart when squeezed) – check this out!

The solution? Tapioca pearls! We bought a bag of quick-cooking, multi-colored tapioca pearls and they soon became our new favorite! See how we prepared them (super easy!) below.

Edible water beads for safe and fun sensory play activity from @theartkit www.theartkitblog.com
Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

We cooked them according to the directions on the packaging (very easy!), which basically involved putting the pearls in boiling water until they floated to the top (which took about 1-2 minutes), lowering the heat for a couple more minutes, and then using a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of cool water. After about a minute we divided the beads up into separate bowls filled with about a cup of water and handed them to the kids with a few assorted toys.

What You’ll Need

To Prepare the Pearls:

  1. Tapioca pearls
  2. Cooking pot
  3. Water
  4. Slotted spoon

To Play with the Pearls:

  1. Plastic tray (to contain the water and toys in the event of spills)
  2. Bowl of water with tapioca pearls
  3. Damp washcloth (for clean-up during and after play)
  4. Ocean TOOB
  5. In the Water Toob
  6. Perler bead candle holder (from our easy DIY activity); optional, but the kids loved to pour the tapioca pearls and water in and see the water filter out through the holes.
  7. Learning Resources fine motor tool set
  8. Kid size ladle
  9. Silicone cupcake liners

These are the items we used but feel free to use what you have around your home if you’d rather not purchase any additional items. We will say we do tend to use many of the same objects in many different activities so if you do purchase some or all of the items we suggested, you are likely to get a lot of use out of them.

What to Do

Once you have cooked your tapioca pearls, place them in a bowl of water (we used about a cup of water). You don’t need too much water, just enough to allow the beads to float around and not stick to each other. You can then set out the different objects you gathered for the kids to use along with the tapioca pearls and let them enjoy their invitation to play. You can give them some direction or just let them loose.

The kids loved scooping the beads out of the water!

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Featured Image
Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

This is a great tool from Learning Resources. It has small holes on the top and bottom that allows the water to drain out while keeping the edible water beads in.

Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

They also enjoyed scooping the edible water beads.

Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

Of course, if you’re going to scoop, you must pour!

Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later
Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

Our silicone cupcake liners were great to pour the water beads into.

Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

The kids also enjoyed playing with their ocean and water themed TOOB sets.

Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later
Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later
Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

How did your kids enjoy this activity? Did you enjoy it? If you didn’t feel the beads, you must! They have a really great texture to them, especially when they’re in a bowl of water.

Edible Water Beads - A Fun Sensory Invitation to Play by The Art Kit - Check out the Blog or Pin for Later

We’d love to see pictures of your little ones enjoying these edible water beads. Share with us on social media #theartkit.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it! Or, pin for later.

Lorraine

Sunday 26th of March 2017

I was looking for activity that can be done with my nieces. Water beads activities are perfect.

The Art Kit

Friday 31st of March 2017

Oh I'm so glad! Enjoy! :)

alina

Tuesday 23rd of August 2016

This is sooooo pretty and a great idea for toddler. Oliver really likes when I get him involved in new activities and discovers new things. Thank you for adding it to my Pinterest parenting group board!

The Art Kit

Wednesday 24th of August 2016

Thanks for your comment! We had so much fun with this activity! I'm sure Oliver would love it too! :)