Edible Water Beads

In DIY Crafts, Fan Submission, Kids by Guest Poster0 Comments

Water beads are an amazing play material for children who are out of the mouthing stage.
However, even with older kids many readers still express concern in regards to choking.  As an alternative to traditional water beads I am sharing a super easy way to make edible water beads at home.

Edible Water Beads
EDIBLE WATER BEADS- how to make them, ways to play, tips, & more!!
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Have you ever heard of tapioca pearls? They are edible and feel almost exactly like water beads!  Prepare them as we did below for a super fun play time the kids will love!

Materials

Making edible water beads is easy.  You can find tapioca pearls at an Asian food market near you or online here.  Make sure you get the quick cook tapioca pearls; they only take 5 minutes to cook.  

Method

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. 
  • Add the tapioca pearls and stir.
  • Cover the pot and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play
  • Once cooked drain the pearls and run them under cold water for several minutes.  
  • Kids can play with the pearls once they are cool, or you can add extra coloring by using food coloring.  I divided the pearls into cups, added a few drops of food coloring, and mixed.
Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play
I let the colors absorb into the pearls for about 15 minutes, and then I dumped the pearls back into a strainer and rinsed them under cold water to remove any access color.  

This worked fantastically!  The pearls were vibrantly colored, and very little color transferred onto Rosie and Jewels hands during play!
Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play
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Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play
Rosie and Jewel had lots of fun exploring and they found tons of ways to play!  They scooped and dumped, played restaurant, counted the beads, and sorted them by color.
Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play
The tapioca pearls feel a lot like water beads, but they are slightly sticky.  Rosie and Jewel loved the added sensory element, but if your child does not like the stickiness just add water to the bin of water beads.  We added water after a while, and the beads were not sticky at all in the water.
Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play
The water also made for lots of new ways to play & explore!
A Few Tips:  Once we were done playing I stored the tapioca pearls in a storage container full of water in the fridge.  We kept our tapioca pearls for four days before deciding to toss them, and the girls had lots of fun playing with them each day.  While tapioca pearls are edible you would not want your child to sit and eat a ton of these.  Rosie and Jewel tasted one and did not have any desire for more, so this really shouldn’t be of concern.  Please supervise very small children during play.
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Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play. These are easy to make & SO FUN!
Edible water beads; a safer alternative to traditional water bead play. These are easy to make & SO FUN!
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