Sensory Bin #1

I am on a mission to create an arsenal of sensory bins for Sunshine to play with over the summer … mostly outdoors but inside too on rainy days.  I thought playing with a variety of texturey sensory items might help with some of the small issues we’re trying to work through.  So I’d like to introduce our first sensory bin of Water Beads.

To say the older two were in love with these cool beads is an understatement.  They couldn’t get enough of them!  Angel was trying to stick her face into the bin until I caught her.  LOL.  The barrel of monkeys went in and out of the beads as did the little Polly Pocket dolls over and over – the whole afternoon was spent playing with these.  Sunshine, however, was not nearly as interested.  When I put her hand in the bin, she got mad at me.  LOL.  I tried multiple times though and even put her foot in it.  She really didn’t like that … at first.

Shortly after, she sat down and started taking off her 2nd sock and shoe and signed for “help” to get completely into the bin.  LOL.  I eventually took her pants off too because they were getting soaked. And by the end of the afternoon and into the evening, she was sitting in the bin!  Score!  It took awhile – you can even see the lighting change from the bright sun to the cool shade.  But we finally got there and she loved them.  She was squooshing them all over the ground with her feet too.

And you can see what the result of 4 neighborhood friends in addition to my 3 kiddos did … there were beads EVERYWHERE and they made such a mess squooshed all over the patio.  No worries though, I picked up as much as I could and just hosed off the rest into the grass … made perfect sense to me at the time 🙂  I am so thankful my mom spent the afternoon with us – the kids always have a blast with her and she was so helpful with cleanup … thanks Nana!
So what are water beads?  I think they are actually meant to be decorative material for flower vases but they are oh-so-fun to play with.  They start out very small (like the size of tiny seeds) and then when you add water to them, they (slowly) grow into these little soft, squooshy balls.  The inside consistency remind me of the gel inside a diaper (not that I would know what that’s like, since I have never let me child’s diaper get big enough to explode, LOL).  And they are so fun and feel awesome on your hands and feet (again, not like I would know because I didn’t put my feet in the bin either, LOL).
A lot goes a long way too … I bought a pound of the beads not really having any idea how much that would be … I have multiple uses still left in the bag and I really put too many in the bin anyway.  And I have also read that you can let the beads dry out and re-use them.  I’m not so sure about that, but it’s worth a Brownie try this first time around.  It may be more trouble than it’s worth but we’ll see.
So YES, this one was definitely a success!  I’ll be doing many more posts over the coming weeks and months about different sensory bins, so excited to give more of these a try and see what the kids think of them!

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  • April 20, 2012 - 2:31 pm

    Jerusha - Very cool idea! I’d bet $ those would terrify Shu at first…perhaps he and Sunshine have similar sensory issues. I look forward to seeing your other ideas.ReplyCancel

  • April 20, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    TJOsMommy - Where can you buy the seeds?! I see my kids loving this as well!!!ReplyCancel

  • April 20, 2012 - 6:09 pm

    Shawn - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

  • April 20, 2012 - 8:07 pm

    Shawn - Ok – I just got your reply about pinning the sensory bin 1 tip to my adoption board so I will re-pin it – Thanks!!. I had deleted it because I saw that it eventually linked to your blog, and didn’t want to do that without permission. Sorry I made such a production out of it.
    Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • April 26, 2012 - 11:26 am

    TJOsMommy - I ordered some water beads as soon as I read this post! The ones i got said that they are “reusable” for up to 2 years! I’m not sure how long they take to “shrink” back, but the kids LOVED them as yours did 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2012 - 5:49 pm

    teeniebeenie6 - Cool! Are these the mini size water beads? They look much smaller then most I see. I’m on the lookout for smaller ones so they are not a choking hazard with my littles. : )ReplyCancel

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