We’re continuing to explore with glow in the dark materials, and I am so excited that we finally found an opportunity to break out the glow in the dark water beads that I got off of Amazon. I’m not sure how I feel about all of the ghosts and goblins around Halloween time, especially for my one and three year old, but a spooky, educational sensory bin, I can get on board with that!
We tried making our own glowing water beads with our glow water and normal beads, but as you can see in this photo, it left a lot of highlighter residue and I didn’t want the kids playing with them. On the right are the ones we bought. They don’t work under a blacklight, so they don’t seem very bright here, but the blacklight does “charge” them up the same as a normal light or the sun would.
These beads need to be “grown” the same way a normal water bead would be. You sprinkle a tablespoon of so of them in to a gallon or more of water and let them sit for 5-7 hours. Then, they must be “charged” by sitting under a bright light or the sun for an hour or two before play. They absorb the light and then will glow in the dark quite brightly for an hour or more before needing to be recharged.
We decided to make a spooky swamp with our beads, it was hard getting very good pictures, because they don’t work under the blacklight, but they don’t put off quite enough light in and of themselves to take photos with. They did illuminate the sensory bin enough for the kids to see and play though, the atmosphere really did feel like we were skimming along in a boat around a spooky, alligator infested swamp!
We used a few glowsticks and a mix of animals from our Safari animal kits to add to the ambiance. Aurora had fun pretending that the water beads were frog eggs and that she had to protect them from the alligators! Gray preferred to zoom the boats through the environment splashing water and “frog eggs” everywhere!
If you’re looking to try to make your own glowing beads, Glowing a Jeweled Rose found a way to do it with fluorescent or glow in the dark paint! I’d love to see any other ideas you guys come up with for sensory play with these fun little beads!