Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fun With Water Beads - A Busy Bucket

Hubby has been traveling for work quite a bit lately and sometimes it can be tough to keep little man entertained at certain times without an extra pair of hands to help. Most mornings little man can keep himself fairly entertained while I get ready and do my hair and make-up. Other times, the stack of books, the collection of toys in our room or the Raffi music coming from my iPhone just doesn't cut it. I have been trying to think of new ways to keep him happily occupied while I get ready and have seen so many great ideas for busy bags and quiet books! (I have been trying to make some too!)

I was searching through our arts and crafts closet and came across an unopened package of water beads and the cogs in my head started turning! *You're probably thinking, "What are water beads?!" Well, I don't know exactly what they are made of, but I understand the basics of how they work. Water beads start as tiny pellets that feel like hard plastic, you then put them in a bowl or container of some sort, add water and they will grow into large, colorful, squishy, gel-like beads! You can buy them at Walmart in the floral decoration section or online. They come in lots of different colors too!*  

I "grew" some water beads overnight in a bowl of water for the next day.

When it came time to do my hair and make-up the next day, I strained the water out (careful to not let any water beads go down the drain - I have heard that since they absorb water and grow in size, that there is the potential for them to clog pipes. Just an FYI- I am not 100% sure of this though!) and dumped them into a bucket. Little man was already intrigued as he was watching this process! I took the bucket upstairs, set it in the tub, added some measuring cups for scoopers and let little man at it! (I did close the drain to the tub, just in case any water beads bounced out of their bucket.)  

A "busy bucket" for little man!

He loved it!

This little "busy bucket" keep little man quietly entertained the entire time I was getting ready! (Awesome!) He was happily exploring new textures, scooping, dumping and chatting about his water beads to me! I was a happy mama watching him have so much fun and not stressing about little man being bored while mama put on make-up. There were no questions like, "Mama all done with make-up?" either, just a happy little boy squishing away at colorful, jelly beads!

Before he got started I did talk with little man about keeping the water beads in the bucket and he did a really good job. A few bounced out and he was quick to go pick them up and put them back. Good job little man!

Do you have any fun or creative ways that you keep your little ones "busy" while you get something done around the house?

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