Water Beads and Shaving Cream

With a toddler, play and mess often go hand-in-hand. I get it. I make a pretty big mess in the kitchen too when I know I don't have to clean up. It's not often that I encourage Mr R to intentionally make a mess but when I thought of this play idea I just couldn't resist. The bigger the mess the more it's enjoyed right?? So knowing full well that this would have to be done outside to save what was left of my sanity I gave him this...
Sensory table set up for sensory play

I knew I wasn't going to be able to control what would happen next, and quite frankly I didn't want to control it but rather just wanted to let Mr R (2 years) play and explore, laugh and giggle and just be.

Mixing sensory play materials with a spoon
Child's hand in water

My idea used our sensory table, water beads, shaving cream, coloured water, containers and spoons.

Playing with a sensory table outside

Mr R was thrilled with the experience, the mess and the freedom! I loved watching him have so much fun and would do it again in a heart-beat.

Child learning through messy play
Sensory play with water beads

Sensory play is an important part of childhood. Children explore and play with all of their senses, they smell, taste, touch, see and hear all sorts of things that we no longer notice or pay close attention to. Sensory play is actually a really fun way for children to begin learning scientific concepts. What the materials feel like, how they behave alone and together, can they be mixed and poured, do they change shape as they move from one container to another? Children explore materials with no preconcieved knowledge and this allows them to develop all of their cognitive and problem solving skills along with their social, emotional and physical skills and also their language development. Amazing right?

Sensory play with shaving cream and water beads
Child playing with water beads

We love sensory play here and use our sensory table in many ways. There is no right or wrong with sensory play and you can set it up however it best suits you. 

I would love to see some of your sensory play experiences! Share them with me here

Happy (messy) playing,

Alison :)

Sensory play idea



  1. Oh that does look like fun! We haven't tried water beads yet... Where did you get them? Online or a shop? Xx


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