Babies and Water Beads
*UPDATE* Water Balz should not be used with young children ever. I have never used Water Balz, but the water beads I use do contain the same polymer found in Water Balz. Water beads are not made to expand as large as Water Balz, but they still are not safe to be ingested and can cause choking or possibly even a blockage. For this reason I am not comfortable allowing my toddlers to play with water beads. They were 12 months when I posted this and not very quick back then. I was able to keep them from eating any of the water beads. Now at 24 months they are quick and determined and could probably get one in their mouths before I could stop them. Use your best judgment when choosing which supplies to expose your babies and toddlers to.
In the past month I've exposed the babies to water beads little by little. Water beads are non toxic but should not be ingested. They could be a choking hazard. For this reason I play with them one on one while exploring water beads. I set the stage to avoid distractions that would pull me away from being on the spot. Yesterday I shared how the big boys have been enjoying water beads in their pool. After playing with J and J one afternoon last week, I was inspired to put the water beads in the babies' pool.
Trying to catch water beads in moving water is great for tracking, hand eye coordination, and working the pincher grasp.
Tank, of course, tried several times to bring a bead to his mouth. He yelled, "Stop!" at me after the fourth or fifth time I moved his hand from his mouth, LOL. Even still, he loved catching the water beads, squishing them in his hands, and splashing in the water.
Peanut preferred to sit outside the pool and reach inside to grab at the beads. He watched wide eyed as I made whirlpools in the water causing the beads to spin around the pool.
Both boys loved finding stray beads in the grass that had flown out of the water.
I realize this isn't for everyone. You may prefer waiting until your baby or toddler is past the oral stage to introduce water beads. For other ways to engage your little one in sensory play click HERE.