Water Beads

This fun science experiment is a wonderful sensory exploration activity that also engages the hand muscles by pouring and scooping. It promotes hand-eye coordination and evokes imagination as water beads evolve into play. You can find more sensory activities by joining Miss Shyla at the sensory table, during your Online Preschool daily lessons!


  • A package of water beads, you can use any size you feel comfortable with. If you have a little one that still explores by putting things in their mouth, I would suggest using the larger water beads.
  • Towels-for clean up
  • Scooper
  • Strainer
  • Small bottle

How To

  • Set up the space: If you have a hardwood floor underneath the sensory table, you will want to lay towels down for safety purposes. Otherwise, it’s water and it won’t get to the level of bathtub splashing but prepare yourself for some spillage.
  • Depending on how the water beads are packaged, you can offer your child a choice of color.
  • Generally, water beads come in small packets. Out of the five packets we had, we poured half of each packet into the sensory bin. I would say that’s three tablespoons each. It wound up being a little more than we expected, so I recommend starting even smaller with ¼ of the bag.
  • Then, fill the sensory bin just enough to cover the beads. Mix them up and wait! They take up to two hours to fully expand, but the process is so fun to watch, and actually goes by fast.
  • As soon as the beads soak up the water, feed them some more water. You will have to repeat this step a few times.
  • Offer your child the opportunity to pour water into the sensory bin. You can use a small pitcher or measuring cup—remember, they like to be little helpers!
Water Beads - DIY - Playgarden Online
Water Beads - DIY - Playgarden Online
Water Beads - DIY - Playgarden Online
Water Beads - DIY - Playgarden Online
Water Beads - DIY - Playgarden Online
Water Beads - DIY - Playgarden Online


Hand-eye Coordination Hand-eye Coordination
Sensory exploration Sensory exploration
Wrist/Whole hand muscle building Wrist/Whole hand muscle building

Tips with Miss Charlotte

Miss Charlotte - Teacher Playgarden

Sensory activities can be messy, and that’s okay! If you’re worried about mess, you can do this activity outside or in the bathroom for easier cleanup. For more sensory activities for preschoolers, join Playgarden Prep’s Online Preschool plan today!

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