What are water beads?
Before Christmas last year, I was asking K1 about her wish list. One of the toys she asked for was… Orbeez!
Have you guys seen these things?
Krista saw a YouTube video of a couple kids (no adults to be seen, although they might have been taping…) who filled a bathtub with Orbeez, then with water. They expanded so much that it overflowed onto the floor. All I kept thinking was…
“Who’s going to clean that up???”
Orbeez, or water beads as they’re called generically, are little micro beads that swell when placed in water. They’re excellent for sensory play!
When I first discovered water beads way back when, I had heard that there was a warning against giving young ones access to them, because of the risk of being swallowed. Since water beads soak up water, if a toddler swallows a few, they can potentially expand and block the digestive path. I read it could be a bit dangerous.
Now I know my oldest wouldn’t think to eat or swallow water beads, herself. (Unless she saw someone on YouTube doing it. Sheesh.) But with an infant in the house, it made me wary.
Imagine my surprise when I was perusing Pinterest and saw a tutorial on how to create Edible Water beads! You can find the original post on Growing a Jeweled Rose, here.
When I suggested to K1 that instead of purchasing Orbeez, we create our own edible alternative… she was all for it!!!
Can you believe these are made with Tapioca pearls??
Before this craft, I had only ever heard of Tapioca pearls being inside Tapioca pudding. And when I first bought some at our local Kroger, they were actually the normal (small) cooking pearls.
Don’t get the normal small ones!!
These were a big mistake! Haha…
I had to tell K1 we’d shop Amazon to find the right beads, and we’d try again another day.
Luckily, I found the perfect ones!! They’re the ones you can use for bubble tea.
You can find them here:
Making edible water beads is a super fun activity to do with your littles. K1 really enjoyed it, so I know we’ll be doing it again.
Want to give it a try yourself?
DIY Edible Water Beads
Materials you’ll need:
Large Tapioca Pearls
Pot or saucepan
Bowl or bin
Start with the tapioca pearls. Read and follow the cooking directions. If you have the quick cook ones they use for Bubble tea, they’ll only take a few minutes to cook.
*Don’t overcook them!* Otherwise they get all slimy and stick together. Not as much fun for sensory play.
Drain the pearls and run them under cold water.
Separate the pearls into different containers, depending on how many colors you want to dye them.
Use as much or as little food coloring as you like to change each container into one color. We used red, green, blue and yellow.
Let them set for about 5-10 minutes, then rinse them off again to get all the extra food coloring off.
You don’t want the color to dye your little one’s hands.
Mix them all together, and that’s it!
These were SO simple to make, and K1 LOVED them! She played with all her little dinosaurs and animals in the beads. And Mommy enjoyed the peace of mind not having to worry about baby getting into them.
*Tip: We added a little extra water to make them last. They’re only good for about 3 days before they start getting gross and sticky.*
I think next time we make them, I’ll buy a lot more bags so that we can fill a whole bin with them.
What do you guys think?
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