Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fun Enough To Eat

About 6 months ago or so I saw a post on Play At Home Mom about using water beads for sensory play:

It looked like great fun so I tried it a couple of times with Bean, who was about 11 months old at the time. Bean loved the water beads! But despite my best efforts and the very familiar refrain of 'That's not for your mouth', she just kept sneaking them in! And being a synthetic product I really didn't want those getting into her system. Needless to say, I lost patience with the whole thing and decided to wait until she was a bit older.

Then a little while ago I started contemplating giving the water beads another try...when Jake had a sudden flash of inspiration! He suggested using Tapioca Pearls instead, which are used in making bubble tea and easily purchased from asian grocers. These are almost exactly the same size and consistency as water beads but they're 100% edible! So we bought a couple of packs of the multicolored variety and today I finally got round to using them...

The only down side to these versus water beads is that they require a bit more preparation time. First you have to put them in water and bring to a boil on the stove...

Simmer for 5 minutes then scoop them out and allow to cool...

I found it was good to strain them through in a colander under cold running water a few times to help cool them, and also to remove the layer of goo that builds up during cooking. You can also add a bit of sugar or honey to them whilst they're cooling if you like, although I just left them as is this time round.

It takes about half an hour from start to finish, but totally worth the effort! So I set up this invitation for Bean whilst she was napping...

Since the pearls end up semi-translucent I chose to incorporate the light panel - but first I wrapped it in cling wrap to make for super easy clean up!

I put the pearls in a clear plastic container and set out various scooping implements with some other containers and an ice cube tray to fill up. When Bean woke up she dived straight in (still half asleep!)...

This is another great medium for scooping play (

As well as being quite tasty...!

And it was also a great opportunity to practise some color sorting...

I left it set up and Bean revisited throughout the afternoon. Even Daddy got to join in when he got home from work! Definitely a success :-)



1 comment:

  1. Toby loves the light box at kinder where they have various colourful resins and translucent shapes to play with. I love the idea that you can eat the toy! :)