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Heart Frozen Water Beads

Heart Frozen Water Beads

You may remember a very popular post I did in the Summer last year - Frozen Water Beads. The twins lived in the garden over the Summer and I tried to bring a variety of different experiences for them out there. Water Beads are something I love using outdoors but today I was brave and set up Sensory Play using them inside! 
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It took me a couple of days to prepare for this activity. I always leave the beads to soak overnight before doing anything with them. I then popped them into the heart shaped tray along with cooled boiled water and popped them in the freezer.

Heart Frozen Water Beads

The hearts came away from the moulds with no effort at all. I did think I would have to run water over them to start them melting before they would come away but no - bonus!

Have you ever used water beads before? They have such a calming texture to them. You can grab them here - Water Beads.

The boys love transferring, filling and emptying containers so with this in mind I made sure I offered some bowls and items that would enable them to do this. 

Heart Frozen Water Beads

I included a bowl of water beads that had not been frozen. A shallow heart tray with water and paint rollers as this would encourage some gross motor movements.

A small heart container with coarse salt. The coarse salt melts the ice really well - I did an experiment using this a few years ago with Neve - Salt and Ice Science Experiment.
As you can see from the video below I supervised the activity throughout and made sure the boys didn't rub the salt on the ice. They sprinkled it onto the hearts with their dry hands or tipped it up out of the container. Salt can really irritate the skin so the paintbrushes did a great job at spreading the salt across the ice.

If the children you are doing the activity with would struggle to not touch the salt on the ice, hold off from using it. 

The boys don't put things in their mouths so it was something I was happy adding to the set up. I wouldn't recommend adding it if your children are likely to put it in their mouths. Although I had no concerns they would do this - I fully supervised the activity throughout. 

Heart Frozen Water Beads

In addition to items mentioned above there were also paint brushes, squibbers and pipettes. The boys have never used squibbers before so today we would be working on a new skill. They require pretty good fine motor control and hand eye co-ordination. 

There was just one shallow water tray meaning they would need to work together and take turns.

My intention is always to set activities up and see if the children want to give it a go. They see me getting bits and bobs together and they are right over watching my every move. With each addition the boys would say "Wow Mom, I play".

Heart Frozen Water Beads

They dived in right away and the play session last for 34 minutes to be exact. My boys have fleeting attention spans that usually last around 10 minutes or so, so to stay engrossed in a task for over 30 minutes for them is amazing!

Heart Frozen Water Beads

Lets take a look at the Heart Frozen Water Beads in Action:

Heart Frozen Water Beads

I shall be doing this activity with Neve too. We will be able to explore how we can melt ice in more depth. I will encourage her to make predictions and to also see if she can think of any other ways she could melt the ice.

I did a similar activity to this with Neve around 3 years ago! Time flies! We made a Frozen Rainbow

This has been a great activity once again. You could also focus on naming shapes and identifying colours while doing this activity. 

I also couldn't leave without sharing with you the video of the boys in the garden with this activity in the Summer. It is a great sensory experience and something a little different that you can do with your stash of water beads. 

Heart Frozen Water Beads

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Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World

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