The girls and I were first introduced to water beads a couple months ago at Mom and Dad's house. Mom has some out for a decoration around Christmas and the girls didn't want to take their hands off them. I also saw them again on www.playathomemom.com and, as luck would have it, we needed something fun to do indoors since the bug had invaded our house.
You can buy them at any craft store or Walmart in the floral area. There's every color under the sun to choose from and we.......well got almost ALL of them. :) Why not?? They're $2 for a pack and they last a while so the girls can play with them over and over again.
I let the girls pick two colors each to start off and here is where I should've stopped. The 4 bowls of water were enough fun for them. They played and splashed around for a good 20min before we actually put the water beads in the bowls! It takes 4-6 hours (depending on how big you want them) for the beads to plump up. We put them in the water right after breakfast with a promise of playing with them right after naps.
Once they had soaked up most of the water, I let the girls scoop them up and I threw them all in the bathtub. FYI - these do leave a bit of color behind so you might want to either scoop them out of the water yourself or put a towel under your bowls. Anna LOVED scooping them into another container, dumping them out, and watching them bounce all over the place! Grace was content keeping her two colors in her own container and picking up every one she dropped! WAHAHAHA!! No surprises there!
The girls have played with them 3 different times now and the newness doesn't seem to be wearing off. They'll be a blast when it warms up outside too. Plastic swimming pool + water beads + 2 girls who need to get out some energy = SCORE for Mommy!! AND, if you love sand as much as I do (NOT!), put them in your sandbox as a substitute!! Still fun BUT less mess! WAHOO!!