Giant water-beads ball run is fun kids water sensory play idea to promote tactile stimulation, fine motor control, and visual discrimination. [Not for children under 3 yr or who are still mouthing things. Water beads are a choking hazard and are dangerous if swallowed.]
Have you ever seen water-beads? They are a fun sensory kids’ water play idea, especially if you make a giant water-beads ball run! Most importantly, they are not made from plastic and are fully biodegradable, thus safe for the environment. So, if your little one is not inclined to eat them, grab some water and set a timer!
Giant Water-Beads Ball Run
Here is a list of supplies you will need to make a ball run for the giant water-beads:
Water beads are made from a polymer, not plastic!
Water beads are made from superabsorbent polymer, not plastic! Although they might look like plastic materials; however, Orbeez is not a plastic material. Even gardeners and farmers use Orbeez water beads on their farms and garden plants to keep the soil moist. Also, they hydrate very quickly in the beginning. Below are water-beads after three hours of hydration.
Here are the steps on how to make a giant water-beads ball run:
- First, pour 2 tbsp of giant water beads into a water-proof tray.
- Then, pour about 10 cups of room-temperature tap water.
- Allow beads to soak and expand for 24 – 36 hours.
- Lastly, pour out excess water and they are ready to play!
However, to achieve FULL size, you will have to wait up to 36 hours.
How Do You Safely Dispose of Water Beads
Dispose of water beads by putting them in garden plants.
One of the safe ways to dispose of water beads is to pour them into the flower pots or mix them with the soil to keep the soil wet. Since water beads absorb excess water and serve as a reservoir for your plant, disposing of them in this way will help reduce the time you spend watering your plants.
Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about water beads harming the plants since beads would eventually decompose.
Dispose of water beads by putting them in the garbage bin.
A less favorable way to dispose of water beads is by putting them in a trash bin. However, make sure to bag them and seal them to prevent the water beads from slipping out of the trash can. If they slip out, it can cause injury to animals, who can even mistake them for food and eat them.
Don’t Flush Water Beads
Since water beads are super absorbent, if you flush them down the drain, they would expand and might clog your drainage pipes.
Sensory Play with Water-Beads
Giant water-beads ball run is a lot of fun! Plus, little ones need to exercise STEM thinking to determine how to bounce a water-bead into the bottle!
Besides, giant water-beads are mesmerizing to look through!
Remember, little people need to manipulate to connect! So why sorting and spacial awareness is so important? Our visual and tactile perception consists of understanding how objects are positioned in space. Thus, understanding the features of those objects, such as relative color or size, which can be a distinguishing characteristic, is key to mastering this important skill.
How Giant Water-Beads ball run promotes Sensory Play
Sensory play is extremely important for children as it supports language development, cognitive growth, fine motor skills, problem-solving and social interaction. As your child learns through play, he/she triggers multiple neurons when tactile, visual, and language stimuli are sparked off! Besides, sensory trays are generally easy to set up with materials you have handy, like recycled BAI bottles.
AGE 3 yr +⚠️Always supervise your child! Although these beads are completely biodegradable, they pose a choking hazard! As water beads are not edible, keep them away from children who still mouth objects and always play under adults’ supervision.
Water-Beads Color Sorting Extension
Another FUN extension is to offer your child to color-sort the giant water-beads.
You will also need sorting dishes and color samples. For children two years old, limit the colors to three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. Also, offer tools (optional). I offered a giant scooper for extra fun while transferring!
Skills At Play:
- hand-eye coordination
- fine motor control
- bilateral coordination
- color recognition
How does Classifying objects Helps Early Years Development
Classifying objects into categories allows children to mentally and physically organize things in their world.
Developmental milestone to learn to classify objects emerges at about eighteen months. Children’s ability to identify colors emerges from twelve to eighteen months. And lastly, at around one year of age, a child becomes aware of different colors and, by the age of 2.5-3 years, can possibly name different colors.
You can color-sort them, transfer, squish, and smash them! Let your imagination be the limit!
Have you ever played with WATER-BEADS? Leave a comment if you did!
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