I found them in a bottle labeled "Decorative Accents" in the dried floral, crafting area of Dollar Tree. We love these new little toys! You can add them to a bowl of water and they are invisible! But put your hand in the water and you are met with soft, slippery, somewhat squishy, marble shaped little beads! Just playing with your hands in the bowl is fun enough but add some kitchen tools like measuring cups, small bowls, spoons, etc, and the fun is enhanced. My daughter likes to transfer things from one place to another and these are a great challenge because they slip and slide all over the place and become invisible once they hit the water again. Can you believe this bowl pictured below is full of water beads?!
I highly recommend this activity with just a couple of added notes...
- Do not let your child use these unsupervised and do not let them put the water beads in their mouth. The bottle says right on it to keep away from children and that it is not a toy (okay, hopefully this doesn't make me a bad mommy!) but with close supervision to make sure they are not eaten, you'll be fine. They are non toxic (that is also written right on the bottle). If you have a child who likes to put things in their mouth, this activity is not for them. Our daughter has never been one that eats or mouths non food items so I felt confident in both her and my ability to engage safely in this activity.
- Beware that they bounce like crazy. When one of these falls out of your hand onto the table, it's going to bounce and slide it's way to the floor and it will be nearly impossible to see or find! I found it helpful to keep our bowl on another tray with sides to minimize potential escape of beads. I would also put all pets in crates during this activity just in case!
Here are a couple of blogs where I read about water beads before we tried them...
I would like to try to get some colorful water beads next but the clear ones definitely have their benefits - the invisibility factor is a huge plus!