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Saturday, April 18, 2015

DIY Calming Sensory Beads

I saw these beads the other day on Pinterest and I thought that it was such a cool idea that I had to tell you about it.
 I LOVE crafty stuff that doesn't take a lot of time or money and this takes neither.

Sensory play is all the rage right now, and there are so many reasons why.
Kids are attracted to these little beads immediately because they look soft and squishy. They stimulate the senses, not only sight and touch but smell too!
These beads are perfect for taking a little time out and calming down. They would also be a fun part of a bedtime ritual.

Lavender can help calm stress and anxiety, and can also promote sleep. Be careful not to use more than a couple of drops though or it may have and adverse affect.

So run down to your local dollar store, (I went to Michaels because I was in the parking lot but I know that the dollar store has them), and grab a pack or two of water beads similar to these:

Now before you write down the brand name, let me tell you that I do NOT recommend this particular brand. You'll see why in a minute.
So grab your beads and a big container, preferably with a lid if you're going to keep them around for awhile. You'll also need lavender essential oil, (one that's okay for topical use), and some water.

Pour the beads into the container, mix some water with about two to four drops of lavender essential oil, (I used a whisk), and mix. Here's why I was unpleasantly surprised with these particular beads:

Ugh! I've bought water beads a million times before and I've NEVER had them turn the water colors like this. It reminded me a lot of red wine...
 so I grabbed a glass of wine and waited.

I had to add water about three times in the next 4-6 hours so that the beads would reach full size.
Then I rinsed for, I kid you not, about 40 minutes.

The great thing was that even after all the rinsing, the beads still smelled amazing. The balls are completely infused with the lavender smell. Yum!

Needless to say, even though these are ideal for little kids, (which I don't have any of right now), my ten year old played with them calmly for about 30 minutes, and gained the "awesome" side-effect of slightly purple fingers.

Learn from my mistake and buy clear beads, or at least make sure that they don't dye the water. Oh and make sure that they're non-toxic, just in case.

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