- October 8, 2012
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My last trip to my craft store was a fruitful one. I was looking for creative ways to display some spring flowers.
In my search for the prefect vase I came across water beads. They looked like small little plastic pellets, but supposedly when you add them to water they turn into a sphere of a gel-type material.
I’m not up-to-speed on the science of it. However, I did think that they looked beautiful. Once I got home the kids and I got into making the beads expand. They sort of reminded me of those animal sponges you could grow in water in the 80’s. My kids were fascinated watching the colorful and “magic” beads expand. While we watched and waited for them to expand we read up about them and discussed how they are made of a super absorbent polymer (sounds fancy). Basically, they are a super absorbent material that can hold liquid many times its weight. Once the waiting period was over there was nothing I could do to stop my kids from putting their hands in and feeling the darn things. I have to admit, it was a fun sensory experience. They look solid, feel squishy and are slippery wet. Sounds like a wild and fun ride. My kids played with them for about two hours before I was able to talk them into letting me put them in my vases. Next time you find yourself at a craft superstore, grab a bag or two of these magic marbles. It’s a fantastic little science experiment for the kids (and for you too!). Put them in a container outside and let your kids play.
When they are done you can put them into your garden, they are biodegradable but make sure to keep an eye on the kids so they don’t eat them. The cool thing is that that they can be used, dried and re-hydrated time and time again to enjoy!