Playing with water beads is one of our favorite play activities. They are squishy, bouncy, slimy, and keep kids entertained for hours. Water beads start out the size of a mustard seed and once hydrated, grow to the size of a marble. Below are a few tips and tricks for keeping your water beads clean and other fun ways to play.
PREPPING YOUR WATER BEADS:
Pour 1 bag of beads into a large bowl; add 8 cups of water to beads. Allow 4-6 hours to fully hydrate to marble size. Drain off excess water and pour beads into container. As beads shrink, add water to cover and rehydrate. Store in resealable bag when not in use. It is best not to store the hydrated beads in the container as it is not an airtight seal. Check for mold before play. One bag will fill container once hydrated. WARNING: DO NOT INGEST. Do NOT dispose of water beads in household plumbing.
Cleaning Water Beads:
There are several methods to help prevent the growth of mold on your water beads. Wash the beads in warm soapy water (dish soap), rinse and drain. I would suggest doing this after each time the beads are played with, as well as weekly, to wash away any dirt, dust, and any oils from the hands. Another method for cleaning the water beads is to add 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar to the water and then rinse with clean water. Inspect water beads before each play session and if any mold is found, toss immediately. WARNING: Do NOT dispose of water beads in household plumbing.
Freezing Water Beads:
After you’re done playing with water beads, put the already hydrated water beads in the freezer for a different way to play. Once frozen, you can use various methods to defrost or smash the water beads.
Please use your best judgement to determine if your child is old enough to play with water beads. They should not be ingested and could be a choking hazard.