I heard about them various places, but mostly at play at home mom. I found a dealer that ships for free to Canada (yay!) as long as you buy less than $20. So I bought a bunch, and they arrived last night.
I wasn't really sure what to expect, so I thought I would blog a little about our experience so far. Here are the water beads in their dry state. They come in small 10 gram bags. I got 10 bags for $15, there are 15 colours available from the dealer above. The ones I have used so far are their rainbow bags.
You add the beads to 5 cups tap water and wait 6 hours. They grow to be about 20mm in size, although there was a lot of variance in the sizes in my batch. After 6 hours you drain the water and you're left with the water beads.
They are transparent and coloured and bouncy and squishy and pretty awesome. That's my expert discription and opinon. When I showed them to my husband even he was impressed. I love how they sort of "glow". They feel really cool when you touch them.
The small 10g bag made over 4 cups of waterbeads. They are moist to touch, but don't leave your hands too wet. They are non-toxic and don't leave any residue on your hands either. They are small, so some would consider them a hazard to babies, but I don't think they are hard enough to cause any real choking hazard. They are also super slippery, so I'm sure they would just slide right down if swallowed.
The manufacturer indicates that if one is swallowed it will be passed easily and with no ill effects. They don't recommend them for consumption of course, and recommend getting medical assistance if a large quantity is ingested. The only real warning is that they should not go down the drain. I will also mention that the manufacturer also says they are not a toy. Please note that Sylvie was very carefully supervised while playing.
|Interesting fact... sitting in waterbeads does not make your clothes wet!|
Sylvie had such a great time playing with these and cried a little when we put them away. She is going through a lot of developmental changes right now (SO close to crawling) and that has been making her pretty crabby. She had a great time touching and playing and pouring the water beads.
She practiced picking them up and holding them (see that loose one on the carpet in front of her hand, she managed to pick it up! what a great way to learn those fine motor skills!)
I couldn't get any photos of her looking at the camera. She was way too busy! We did a few things with her today - let her put her hands in the whole container, poured the beads around her (while she was in the green bin, shown above), poured the beads on the tray.
|Another note: Waterbeads will squish and break if sat |
on, knelt on, etc. I kept a small container nearby
and took away broken water beads immediately
She helped dump out the container and watched while we put them away later. She just loved playing with these.
I was surprised that she didn't really try to put them in her mouth. She usually puts everything in her mouth, but for whatever reason, these kept her hands busy and out of her mouth. We still watched her very closely and I would never let her play with these unless we were right there with her.
If you're a bit worried, there are a few ideas I think you could use to keep the beads out of a babies mouth.
I put some in a strawberry type container, she can shake this and look at it without actually having access to the beads. They would also feel neat tucked into and empty, knotted balloon.
Play at Home Mom has lots of other excellent ideas on how to use these and I can tell you, we are hooked! Alain even said "We should buy more of these" (then I admitted that I already had 10 packs, not just the one pack we were playing with... haha). He seems pretty excited to figure out new ways to play with them with Sylvie. He's a science guy and these definitely made him happy.