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Ocean Sensory Play

Last week in Tuesday Tutorials MulticraftingMummy linked up a really cool post called ‘We’re going on a P hunt‘ where she used water beads. I’ve never used then before so thought it might be fun to try out ourselves. Being water beads an ocean sensory play tub seemed the best idea for an easy introduction to using them!

Ocean Sensory Play with Water Beads
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So, to make our ocean sensory play tub I used a bowl, three packs of blue water beads (I bought these ones from Amazon which had two different shades of blue and therefore added to the prettiness). And lots of bath toys. Yup. Totally tried to find all the sensible sea creatures that I’ve bought from the local sealife centre but when it came down to it they’d all gone into hiding and quite frankly as any parent knows it really doesn’t do to keep a three year old waiting. I also gathered up some blue things for measuring from the kitchen, so little bowls, spoons, cupcake cakes and the measuring spoon from a box of formula (which turned out to be the perfect size! Who knew?!)

First we added our blue water beads to the bowl and added some water. And then we waited. And waited. Because although it said it would take four hours for the beads to totally swell up I obviously didn’t believe it. Thankfully my son still had a blast as he got to do some water play in the dining room, pouring the beads over my hands, swishing them around and getting them to bounce on the octopuses head.


Then they grew! Phew!

Ocean or seaside sensory play idea for kidsI tried to get a picture of him playing but he was having too much fun to sit still and to be honest so was I! We felt the balls, measured them into pots and marveled at how much better they bounced on his little ocean friends now they were full size!

As the mother of two small kids, I do feel obliged to point out at this stage that we only played with these while the baby was napping. Water beads are great fun but don’t let your kids play with them if there’s any chance of them eating them!

Have you tried playing with water beads? What did you think? And if you like this sort of thing don’t forget to follow my Pinterest board for more sensory play ideas!
Follow Kate Williams CraftsonSea’s board Sensory Play and Activities on Pinterest.


  1. 3rd November 2014 / 9:22 pm

    I’ve never tried water beads but they sound like a lot of fun – will have to give this a go sometime with my eldest as I think she would love it.

  2. 3rd November 2014 / 10:22 pm

    Happy to have inspired you! They really are great fun aren t they!

  3. 8th November 2014 / 9:16 pm

    I’m glad its not just e who cant find the required toy at a specified time (I usually find our lost toys underfoot if I sneek into the kids room at night! Thanks for joining in the #ParentingPinItParty

    • 11th November 2014 / 8:29 pm

      Pretty much all the toys here are under the sofa 😉

  4. 9th November 2014 / 8:56 pm

    This looks like so much fun! Love the pics too; so colourful 🙂
    Visiting from Inspired By Me Mondays; hope to see you again this week!!! Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough

  5. 10th November 2014 / 7:39 am

    This is a great idea for fun sensory play!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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