I’m back with another Summer Play Days activity! I’m teaming up with some of my favorite ladies to bring you this 3-day series – Chelsey of Buggy and Buddy, Ann of My Nearest and Dearest, Rachael of Nothing if Not Intentional, and Jessica of Play Trains. By the end of it, you’ll have 15 ideas for summer fun with the kiddos! Yesterday, I featured some colorful shell sculptures. Today, I want to share a scented water beads sensory play idea with you!
If you’re a regular reader of Fun-A-Day, you already know we love scented sensory activities around here. There’s just something about adding the sense of smell that brings play to another level. On top of that, Engineer kept talking about painting and bowling with coconuts like we did last summer. So we grabbed a coconut at the grocery store last week, which inspired this crazy concoction . . .
Coconut water beads sensory play for summer fun
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I poured the package of water beads into an old plastic container, then added water. While we waited on the water beads, I poured coconut water into two ice cube trays and placed them in the freezer
After a few hours, the water beads had plumped up to marble-size, and the coconut water was mostly frozen! I dumped out the extra water from the water beads, then added a few drops of coconut extract. I only added a few drops, as I wanted it to be lightly scented in case one of the boys ended up hating the coconut smell. I needn’t have worried – they loved it!
I grabbed the kiddos, the rest of our materials, and we headed outside. It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to play in the grass underneath a tree. I set the large plastic bin on the ground, then added the scented water beads and coconut water cubes. The scoops and spice containers were placed right next to the bin.
How the Kids Played
The boys (Engineer, Snoopy, and Little Hurricane) jumped right in, of course! They used the scoops and their fingers to transfer beads into the spice containers. Almost immediately, Engineer commented, “Hey, it smells like something!” Snoopy then exclaimed, “It’s coconut! It’s coconut!” At first, they weren’t sure where the scent was coming from. After another moment, they each held a handful of beads up for a sniff. The mystery was solved.
The ice was scented as well, but it’s scent was a bit lighter. They loved the texture of the coconut water ice, as it froze a bit slushier than regular water. It also added some coolness and liquid to the water beads.
We spent close to an hour outside playing with the water beads and ice cubes. Those beads were transferred into containers, then shaken back out again. They were scooped, counted, and squeezed a little bit too. The kids pretended to set up an M&M shop with the coconut water beads, which was hysterical to listen to! Once the shop closed, they turned it into a coconut ocean, complete with ocean animals.
Lots of water beads sensory play, tons of language skills, math, and imagination! Not bad for such an easy activity!
Do you have any water beads sensory play ideas to share? Water beads are always a hit around here, so feel free to share in the comments below! 🙂
More Summer Play Days
Come back tomorrow for the last of the Summer Play Days series. While you’re waiting, check out these other summer ideas from my blogging buds:
Play Trains! – Summer Pom Pom Tree
Nothing if Not Intentional – The Perfect Summer Smoothie Recipe
My Nearest and Dearest – Simple Summer Fun: Swatting Bubbles
Buggy and Buddy – Outdoor Scavenger Hunt