Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rainbow Water Beads {fun & fail}

A few days ago, my son & I made up a tray of rainbow water beads to play in. Since I only had clear water beads, we attempt to color them - which was met with some success & some failure - but lots of fun too!


First, we tried coloring the beads with Kool-Aid (see our other Kool-Aid endeavors) - the idea of scented & colored water beads was enticing, but didn't work out... We tried to soak a teaspoon of clear water beads in water with two packs of lime Kool-Aid. We ended up with just slightly hydrated, sticky little green orbs ...


They never did get any larger than this... so we threw them out. With an older child... this might have been a great intro into a fun science experiment with the water beads (i.e. what happens to the water beads when we use different liquids to hydrate?) I'm pretty curious myself... so I might just do the experiment with my 3 year old anyway...

Instead of Kool-Aid, we resorted to traditional food coloring gels, hot water and ziplock bags. We hydrated a tablespoon of beads with several cups of water & a generous addition of food coloring for several hours. Then, I rinsed the beads in a colander before pouring them into our pan for play.  Initially they looked beautiful....


And my son had a great time playing in them....


But after a day or two, the colors faded and the whole bin was a drab shade of greenish-grey...


The moral of the story is... if you want rainbow water beads, buy the rainbow water beads that are already colored...  even though our colors faded, the beads were still quite fun!

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