Pinterest, how I love thee. I recently added a new pin board detailing some fun ideas for playtime with the kids and it's inspired me to try out some new low cost activities with my boys (2 and 8yrs).
The 1st activity to catch my eye was play with water beads. Water beads are those jelly like marble size balls that you see in vases - they soak up water so are perfect for lining plant pots. I didn't realise they were safe for play but after some research I found them to be non toxic and made from environmental material so as long as I stayed with Milo whilst he is playing then I think we'll be fine. (I wouldn't recommend them for younger children as they could be a choking hazard.)
£7 delivered. Bargain! As you only need to add water to activate them they really are a low cost activity. As soon as they arrived we put 2 packs in a bowl filled with water and left them to grow throughout the day. There are no directions on how much water to add but we filled the bowl and left a few inches to the top just in case.
great blog post which details all the fun you can have with beads and I'd really recommend giving them a go. We also froze a small bowl full of the fully grown beads to see what would happen and as well as feeling different they also started to break up once defrosted (image below). I can imagine lots of squelchy fun in the water table during the summer months, and they make a great stress reliever for me...
They probably sell them in garden centres and craft shops but the ones I bought were listed as 'safe for play' whereas some don't have that written on them. They're roughly the size of a marble so as mentioned previously I would advise monitoring playtime, I can see Milo absent mindedly popping one in his mouth but non toxic doesn't mean completely safe. I REALLY do advise having a go with these, they are sooo much fun!