On Friday afternoon, we played with our new water beads. They arrived on Thursday and I soaked three packs overnight in two plastic tubs of water – red in the red tub, pink in the pink tub, and clear beads split between the two tubs. I had been going to add food colouring until I remembered we didn’t have any, so instead I added some peppermint essence which made the water smell lovely. I also made peppermint-scented ice cubes (hearts and fish.) When we were ready to play, I put the tubs with the water beads on to the Tuff Spot which was out in the garden, and the children helped me to add the ice cubes. They spent a little while exploring the textures of the beads and the ice in the tubs, before deciding to tip them all into the Tuff Spot. This made it easier for all four children to play with them at once. Tiddler spent quite a long time concentrating on carefully placing the water beads in the empty fish ice cube tray, and Rabbit did the same thing with the heart tray. Monkey was wearing his new tool belt, so used his hammer to explore and play with the beads. Luckily, he did this very gently as it is a real hammer. Tiddler then went to get his toy hammer and bashed the ice and beads as hard as he could! Owl made a picture of a helicopter by placing the beads on the studs of a Lego Duplo base board. After a while, Rabbit and Tiddler couldn’t resist getting into the Tuff Spot so I added quite a lot more (warm) water and this extended the play for a while longer. I enjoyed watching them play, some of the time together and some of the time alongside each other, and I think they all found it quite absorbing and calming. It’s a good addition to our water (and ice) play, which we do quite a lot, and I’m sure we’ll be getting the water beads out again very soon.