I have been dying to try water beads with my love buggians. I have been hesitant since my youngest still likes to put things in his mouth! So, after some searching I discovered that basil seeds can be used as a substitute. I read Asia's post (click here to read about it) and I was skeptical after I received the seeds and saw how teeny tiny they are!!
They looked like poppy seeds! We added water (very small amount) and liquid watercolors! I was amazed at how quickly they started to turn. It was really cool to watch! It didn't take long for the color to become really vibrant! It looked and felt like cooked couscous to me until we added water. My oldest kept on saying it felt "soft". I think our bowl was too small to truly appreciate the seeds. So at one point I just added a few to a large bowl of water. I think it would have been ammmmazing to have a huge bin to explore with! Next time I will try that and add less seeds and more water!! You'll see below how there was just sooo many seeds!! My youngest was in and out of the activity. We had another napless afternoon so we had lots of stuff going on - during all of this we were decorating and baking cookies - why not?
Before we added the water, my oldest combined the colors and I thought to myself - this would have been great for Earth Day!!
This was definitely messy! My two are so used to messy play they are pretty neat! With that said, the little seeds are very sticky - not slimy but hard to clean off of surfaces and fabric. I ended up throwing out my dish towel because I didn't have the time to pick all the little seeds off! Next time, I am going to cover my table with paper bags or newspaper! I highly recommend this since it was so easy to do! Such a great sensory activity to try with babies!!