Edible Water Beads

Rosie and Jewel love water beads, and we use them often in play.  As long as kids are out of the mouthing stage and know that they are not for consumption water beads are lots of fun.  However, many readers still do not feel comfortable and have expressed concerns.  For those who would love an alternative these edible water beads are easy to make and unbelievably FUN!

Edible Water Beads
Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play. These are easy to make & SO FUN!

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I have been wanting to try tapioca pearls for sensory play ever since I first saw them.  This activity was so fun I really wish we hadn't waited so long to give them a try!  Tapioca pearls are edible and feel almost exactly like traditional water beads!

Edible Water Beads Materials
Method
Making edible water beads is so easy.  You can find tapioca pearls at Asian food markets or online here.  Make sure you get the quick cook tapioca pearls; they only take 5 minutes to cook.  All you have to do is boil water, add the tapioca pearls, stir, cover the pot, and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play

Once cooked drain the pearls and run them under cold water for several minutes.  Kids can play with the pearls once they are cool, or you can add extra coloring by using food coloring.  I divided the pearls into cups, added a few drops of food coloring, and mixed.

Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play

I let the colors absorb into the pearls for about 5 minutes, and then I dumped the pearls back into a strainer and rinsed them under cold water for several minutes.  This worked fantastically!  The pearls were vibrantly colored, and NO COLOR transferred onto Rosie and Jewels hands during play!

Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play
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Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play

The girls had lots of fun and played and played!

Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play

The tapioca pearls feel a lot like water beads, but they are slightly sticky.  Rosie and Jewel loved the added sensory element, but if your child does not like the stickiness just add water to their play.  We added water after a while, and the beads were not sticky at all with the water.

Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play

The water also made for lots of new ways to play & explore!

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Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play

A Few Tips:  Once we were done playing I stored the tapioca pearls in a storage container full of water in the fridge.  We kept our tapioca pearls for four days before deciding to toss them, and the girls had lots of fun playing with them each day.  While tapioca pearls are edible you would not want your child to sit and eat a ton of these.  Rosie and Jewel tasted one and did not have any desire for more, so this really shouldn't be of concern.  Please supervise very small children during play.

Other FUN Kids Activities:

Edible SLIME         Snow Paint         Rain Clouds in a Jar

Kool-aid Slime- edible, easy to make, and borax free!  Paint WITH Snow- what a fun activity for the kids and a creative way to play with snow indoors.  {Kids can make the snow paint themselves, too}  Experiment for Kids- Make a Rain Cloud in a Jar {Fun & educational Science kids LOVE!}

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Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play. These are easy to make & SO FUN!
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Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play. These are easy to make & SO FUN!

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