Water Beads – 10g sachet

Product by: Busy Bean Activities

Water beads are composed of a water-absorbing polymer (sodium polyacrylate) which is a super-absorbing polymer (SAP) and absorbs water by a process called osmosis. When water bead is placed in contact with water, there is a tendency for the sodium to distribute itself equally between the water bead and the water. This means, some of the sodium atoms want to leave the bead and move to the water. When parts of sodium leave, they are replaced with water molecules. Water swells the bead to try to keep the sodium concentration balanced between the bead and the water.

Please confirm on the packaging but usually one sachet of water beads takes 500ml – 1000L of water. Simply pour the dry beads into your container and add the appropriate amount of water (warm but not hot water works best – please see the below tips). Leave for 6-8 hours to grow and then play!

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Water beads are composed of a water-absorbing polymer (sodium polyacrylate) which is a super-absorbing polymer (SAP) and absorbs water by a process called osmosis. When water bead is placed in contact with water, there is a tendency for the sodium to distribute itself equally between the water bead and the water. This means, some of the sodium atoms want to leave the bead and move to the water. When parts of sodium leave, they are replaced with water molecules. Water swells the bead to try to keep the sodium concentration balanced between the bead and the water.

Please confirm on the packaging but usually one sachet of water beads takes 500ml – 1000L of water. Simply pour the dry beads into your container and add the appropriate amount of water (warm but not hot water works best – please see the below tips). Leave for 6-8 hours to grow and then play!

  1. Size

Larger beads tend to fall apart very easily, are extremely messy (they get everywhere), and they don’t last very long. Soaking the beads too long, will cause them to become less firm and fall apart much easier. An adequate amount of time for soaking is six to eight hours to obtain maximum size.  Once the maximum size has been reached, gently place them in a strainer to drain out the remaining water.

  1. Water Beads LOVE Warm Baths!
    It is possible to speed up the absorption process by using warm water to soak the beads in. Note: not HOT water, do not use boiling water because this will cause the beads to split and break down. Warm enough to comfortably put your hand in is best.
  2. Hydrating and Dehydrating

Water beads can be dehydrated and stored away for later use. Shrinking will occur, but resulting in a slightly larger size than the dehydrated form they initially came in. Dehydrating and re-hydrating the beads, results in a shorter lifespan, so keeping the beads continuously hydrated is highly recommended. To do this,  soak the beads again (three to five hours this time instead of six to eight hours since they already contain some water) every two or three weeks to maintain their size.  By keeping the beads continuously hydrated, they can last two to three years! Sometimes it’s just not feasible to keep the beads in their hydrated form. Water beads become somewhat sticky during the dehydration process. So if you need to dehydrate them to store away please see the below for proper storage:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight

Water beads are beautiful to look and play with on a bright sunny day, but leaving water beads out in direct constant sunlight will not only break them down, it will shorten their lifespan as well. Once your little one is finished playing with the beads, move them to a shaded area and cover them up.

  1. Keeping your water beads clean

Where there is water, there is always a chance of mould. Mould needs water to grow, as well as a food source, oxygen and a warm, cosy temperature – which can make water beads a perfect breeding ground for mould if they are not properly maintained. Mould can digest and grow on the organic dirt/dust layer present on the surface of water beads from use.

Keeping your beads clean, will help with keeping them pretty and mould free:

  • Add 1-2 drops of bleach to the water upon original hydration of the beads. This should help with the prevention of most types of moulds and keep your beads hygienic. Note: Adding bleach after the original hydration can damage and break down the beads.
  • Always clean hands before play with warm, soapy water.
  • Wash the beads in warm soapy water (dish soap), rinse and drain. We suggest doing this after each time the beads are played with, as well as weekly, to wash away any dirt, dust, or oils from the hands.
  1. Dehydration Method & Proper Storage

It will take about 4 – 5 days for water beads to dry out if they are not given another source of water.

Never try to dehydrate water beads in a ziplock bag or sealed container. The beads will dehydrate at a much slower rate due to slower evaporation from the bag and the beads being on top of each other.

Using a non-stick silicone baking mat (for smaller amounts) or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (for larger amounts) gently spread your water beads out on a flat surface. Make sure that you leave just a tiny bit of space between each bead to prevent them from clumping together. The dehydration process generally takes four to five days depending on the size of the hydrated bead. When your water beads are completely dehydrated and completely dry, they will not be sticky to the touch. Place the beads in a ziplock bag and store in a cool, dry place.

Important Things to Remember:

Water beads are non-toxic, however, even though water beads are non-toxic, they should never be ingested. Every parent must use their own judgment in choosing which activities are safe for their own children. Water beads can cause choking and suffocation which are the biggest hazards for children under the age of three. Let’s keep our little ones safe!

Water beads should not be disposed of down the toilet or any drains, by nature they will swell anywhere that there is water present and will clog up toilets and drains. If you no longer want your water beads you can safely add them to pot plants or your garden in areas away from where children or pets may be unsupervised for any period of time.

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