Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Baby-safe water bead fun

There are literally a million and one fun things to do with water beads. Starting off by simply squishing and bouncing them. Have you tried? They feel soooo cool!

But they're definitely things you want to keep away from babies - when dehydrated they could easily be swallowed and then swell up internally, and when hydrated their size makes them a veritable choking hazard...

However, here are some baby-proof ways even the littlest ones can still enjoy them :)

Sensory bags

Pop a handful in a ziploc bag, add some coloured water and secure with duct tape so it can't be accidentally opened.

I double bagged them for storage after their first use and have actually kept them like that since. You can still see the colours and feel the textures in the same way but it's just an extra layer of protection from Iz's sharp little fingernails!

[Tip - I used the same method to secure the duct tape as I used in my previous sensory bags - see here]

Sensory bottles

Add a handful to a clean empty bottle, top up with coloured water and secure the lid with a glue gun. I waited for 24 hours post-gluing and then tried to open them myself. I couldn't. So I figured the lids were probably stuck pretty good!

Why you need to glue them shut!
Yep she even did her first proper crawl when trying to reach them!


This was fun to play with D. He lined the bottles up and then threw a ball to knock them down. To make it more challenging he would say which colour he was aiming for before he started.

I also intentionally filled the bottles with varying amounts of beads so D could compare them and we could talk about biggest/smallest etc. 

Water bed

Initially we started with the biggest ziploc bag that the supermarket stocked. I filled it with a mix of different coloured beads and some water and secured the edges with duct tape. 

Love the colours :)

It was nice and cool for Iz to play with in the hot weather.

Then I decided to upsize it and make it even more fun for both D and Iz - so I made a water bead water bed (full post here) (trying saying that ten times quickly!). Perfect for the summer :)

Have you used water beads with your baby or toddler? What did you do? I've got some exciting activities planned for D when Iz is not also playing but always love to hear more ideas :)


Disclaimer: as with any activity involving your baby, use your own judgement and common sense. I always closely supervise any sensory play and always inspect items for wear/tear carefully before each playing session. Some plastic bags will be stronger than others, and some people will use duct tape more successfully. Always make sure you are confident with the safety of whatever your baby is playing with.


  1. Love the ideas, but where can I find water beads on the high street please? Thanks! X

    1. Aww thank you! I'm not sure where on the high street - maybe a specialist florist as they use them as vase fillers? I got mine on Amazon - pretty cheap and a whole range of colours :)

  2. Sold on water to fill my bath with them and have my own squidgey sensory fun - mwah ha ha!

    1. Haha good plan - why should the kids get all the fun?! ;) I couldn't stop squishing the first batch I made - very addictive!