Alphabet Goo

May 30, 2012


Kids love Water Beads. They are sensory, squishy, bouncy, colourful, rolly-poly balls of fun!

Generally when the kids are done playing with them though, they don't really resemble balls any more. They are much closer to GOO!

So, what to do with them once they are mush? The easiest thing of all is just to throw them on the garden. They will dry up and disappear, BUT, if you'd prefer to get one last activity out of them, why not try this?

crushed water beads, letter activity
Alphabet Goo! Add some basic letter recognition learning to this fine motor, sensory activity.



The invitation to play. 
Bowl of crushed water beads with magnetic letters inside. Tweezers for grabbing. Bowl of water for cleaning. Tea towel for drying.



Practicing fine motor skills using the tongs/tweezers to find and grab out the letters.
It's fun but tricky thanks to the slippery, slimy goo.



Cleaning the letters. Swirling the water round and round.



Drying the letters with the tea towel



Discuss the found letters. Do they know any of the names? Sounds? Words beginning with? etc



Ditching the tweezers, time to squish the goo between your fingers



I turned my back and guess what? 
Now all the water from the cleaning container is in with the crushed water beads!



She loved swirling it round and round and round with a spoon.



Adding a plastic cup to the goo soup! Lots of filling and pouring. 
It's fun to watch the chunky bits plop back into the mixture.


Handy Tips:

- Simplify this activity by enjoying the sensory and fine motor components but don't put such a huge focus on the letter learning. If your child doesn't know any letters or sounds yet, there is still no harm in letting them search for them and just telling them what they've found.

- Extend this activity by including letters of basic (or more advanced) words. Have the child find, wash and dry the letters and then see how many words they can make from them.

- Mix Up this activity by including different objects to hide in the goo. Numbers, animals, coloured buttons, whatever.. it's up to you and what you're wanting to focus on.

- Some children aren't into the messy, gooey stuff which is why you'd include the tweezers/small tongs. This allows them to still play/learn without getting messy.

-Talk with your child about the process and order. "Which comes first? Drying the letters or washing them?" etc. 

- Listen to your child talk as they go through their experiences. This will help you determine where they are at with their learning, knowledge and understanding and help you to develop the activity (or future activities) to their level and interests.

***Water Beads should not be ingested so parental supervision with children who might be tempted to eat them is required***



Debs :)


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22 comments:

  1. We haven't played with water beads yet, but I just bought some. The "goo" looks just as much fun as the beads. Can't wait to try them out!

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    1. Thanks Suzanne. Yep, the goo was just as much fun! Love being able to get more use out of them :)

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  2. that looks like great fun, Goblin would love this activity. The photos are so cute, I love the concentration on her face when she's doing the pouring. We have alphabet foam letters in the bath and play a similar game of scooping and talking about the letters.

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    1. You know, I finally bought some foam letters for the bath today so we'll see what she does with them! Thank you, it ended up being a lot of fun :)

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  3. Love the handy tips you included!

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  4. eww... goo! lol :) Looks like fun! Good idea to "recycle" the used waterbeds as goo. And actually I never thought to throw them in the garden. That's a good one on it's own!

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    1. I start with the pot plants. The beads will only dry out if there is no water so it's a good way to water the plants. As they dry out the water goes into the soil and you can see it's time to water the plants! My mush is still sitting there, full of water (it's been raining a lot) keeping my pot plants nice and moist :D

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  5. Great activity, Jake would love this. We've only just discovered water beads and I was wondering what to do with all the broken bits that get left behind. :)

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  6. This is SUCH a great idea. I will definitely be trying this out ... and knew that I would when I first saw it! I also love the tips you included at the end! Thanks so much for sharing this on this week's Kids Co-Op linky!

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  7. What a good idea for getting another use out of them and she looks like she really enjoyed it

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    1. I definitely won't be throwing them out so early any more. We'll keep experimenting with ideas on how to keep using them :)

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  8. Water beads are always turning into goo around here after being played with in a variety of ways, and usually the kids just pour and sift around in the goo, but this is great! Actually putting things into the goo for them to fish out! Water beads just keep giving and giving now don't they? Pinning this to our water beads board, and if you would like please link up to our Water Beads linky party...
    http://fitkidsclub.blogspot.com/p/clubhouse-adventures-in-water-beads.html
    Thanks :)

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    1. Glad you liked the idea. I'll pop over and link it up. Thanks :)

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  9. I love when people use materials to their full potential! Great idea :)

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  10. yes, I loved this activity! Just dropping by again to say thanks so much for sharing with it Tuesday Tots! :)

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  11. Featuring you today on Kid's Co-op. Love this idea!

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    1. Thanks Lorie! I really enjoyed your round up of ABC ideas :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.