Glowing water bead increased attention & coordination

Playing in the dark is so much fun with a UV light & some glowing water beads.
A few people have mention before that these type of activities would be great for kids who have a fear of the dark, it may help them be at ease in the dark and come to enjoy it.
You can make water beads UV reactive by getting some clear, yellow or light coloured water beads in their dehydrated form & soaking them over night in glow water (highlighter ink infused water). It's pretty simple. Get some highlighters, a uv light & you can do lots of fun things. Check out my Glow tab above for some more ideas.

The best part about glowing UV play is that no matter how messy it gets, and no matter how many glowing artifacts get scrambled across the floor the UV light picks them up. They're so easy to see, so you wont be finding hidden water beads crushed into the carpet for the following week lol.
This was a simple activity that I set out in the hope that Dimples could practise a steady hand, patience, perseverance, focus & bilateral coordination. I had some clear cups of different sizes, different shape tweezers and small spoons in a tray with glowing water beads, a UV light and a ice tray. It did look very inviting, as expected.

This was a fun, bright activity where Dimples got some good practise in bilateral coordination. By setting out the cups on one side, the tweezers/cups on the other and by giving him the spoon to one particular hand he got some good practise in using both hands steadily and reaching across the body slowly, coordinating his reach and movements to carefully spoon the water beads into the cups or across the ice tray.

Scooping with spoons is something simple but also very complex with glow in the dark water beads as they slip and slide unless you have a steady hand and they're quite difficult to scoop up unless you manoeuvre the spoon around or trap them against a edge or corner.
Not only do you need to focus your visual coordination in the dark but the water beads are slimy little suckers and they bounce and skim away at any movement so you need to work hard at task to succeed. Handling them must be with a slow stead scoop and its serious business, otherwise they bounce and scatter in all different directions.
You get the drift.
Lots of fun that helps develop concentration, focus, coordination and fine motor skills.

The ice tray worked really well, the more he filled up an ice cube - the more it glowed. Dimples experimented with scooping, pouring and tweezing (which was extremely difficult) water beads into the sections if the ice tray one at a time. The tweezers weren't really a success, it was way too difficult to secure a water bead, most likely they hit a sharp edge and crushed but if you had some of those plastic kids play tweezers that are semi-rounded on the end it would work well and provide a great fine motor task to master.

Dimples then poured them all out and try again!
Pouring from different size clear cups and back, experimenting with the volume and size of cups. 
Experimenting with the angle of the ice tray while pouring water beads from it and watching each section.  Filling cups up with the small spoon and the large with the opposite hand, leaning across the body and keeping a slow steady focus. It all looks so fun but Dimples was working on some very important tasks as he played.

Learning Concepts:
Bilateral Coordination
Focused attention
Patience and slow, steady movements
Fine motor skills
Volume & Size
Sensory Play

Ideas for Extension:
Make water beads into Glowing Dragon Eggs
Make a small world with them for some pretend/Imaginative play
Add some glowing spaghetti for more of a messy sensory experience.
Add some measuring cups & funnels for a math approach
or some PVC pipes to experiment with transference
If your brave do it in a tub of glow water

Happy Adventures


  1. Great ideas! I so need to get a UV light for our house!

  2. So fun!!!!! You know, I found a stash of water beads I forgot about in the cupboard. Where did you get the glowing ones from?

    1. If you have some dehydrated ones mix up some glow water (Fluro yellow highlighter ink soaked in water) then soak your waterbeads over night.
      They absorb the glow water & become glowing water beads under a uv blue light :-)
      Such fun

  3. R is thrilled with anything that glows. He would go crazy for this. :)

  4. Ooh, cool idea to soak them in the glow water. I still have to get that UV light!

  5. You are the glow master!!! Love this.

  6. Wow, very cool - I hadn't thought to make them glow!!

  7. My kids would love to play at your house :-)

  8. What a creative idea and I bet it keeps them busy for ages exploring!

  9. You always do the best sensory activities! This one look like so much fun :)

  10. What an amazing learning experience! Looks like a lot of fun was had all round :-) I will have to track some down for my little man to try. Thanks for sharing Water beads



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