They are cold, smooth, and squishy! You can bounce them, roll them, or squeeze them. Your toddler will love to experiment with water beads!
You can find water beads like at local craft stores or dollar stores. I found mine at the local Dollar General. You can also buy them already colored or get the clear ones and dye them yourself with food coloring. They are intended for a vase filler, but they make for an awesome sensory experience too! All you need to do is add water and they start expanding. It’s fun for your toddler to check in on the progress as they grow!
The water beads will slowly start to expand. The more water you add, the more they will absorb. When they reach the size that you are looking for, pour out the leftover water and you are ready to play. If they get too big, they are easy to squish and smash which is fun but increases the mess.
My boys started out just picking up a few then they asked for toys to use while playing so we got a spoon and small containers. They ended up doing way more with them than I thought. My oldest separated the colors into the containers and even counted them as he added them in! My little one saw how high he could bounce them and also separated the colors.
You may want to set a few ground rules before you start playing such as no throwing and not to put them in their mouth. Always monitor your child closely with the water beads. As your toddler first touches the water beads you will see huge smiles and hear giggles. Talk with your toddler about they feel (cold, smooth, squishy, etc.)