Edible Water Beads Sensory Play

These edible water beads are so slippery, squishy, and smooth they create an amazingly fun sensory activity. Talk about some inexpensive entertaining fun. I spent $1.58 on…


These edible water beads are so slippery, squishy, and smooth they create an amazingly fun sensory activity. Talk about some inexpensive entertaining fun. I spent $1.58 on one bag of tapioca pearls. They start out hard and solid colored and end up soft with a slimy gel like coating on the outside. So cool! Tapioca pearls are edible but they don’t taste very good unless flavored so your kiddo probably wont try to make a snack of them although I never suggest encouraging your kiddo to eat your activity.

Thank you for visiting. This post may contain affiliate links to recommended products at no extra cost to you. Read our Disclosures and Terms of Use. Don't miss out again, become a  Reader here <--it's FREE. 

This activity was inspired by The Kids Activities Blog, which is full of fun ideas including a yummy refreshing drink recipe to go along with this activity!!! You need to take a visit to see what they have been up to lately! I love drinking tapioca pearl drinks but had never thought of using them as edible water beads. Genius! This was my first time making tapioca pearls and I was thrilled to find out they are so easy to work with and so fun to use as edible water beads. 

Tapioca Pearls
Food coloring (optional)

Tapioca pearls are sold at Asian markets or online like on Amazon. After I did this activity I found more directions online and they said to make sure to buy the quick cook style of tapioca pearls. I have a feeling I did not buy the quick cook style which is why I boiled mine for 20 minutes instead of the suggested 5 minutes. So be aware you may need to adjust the boil time according to the type of tapioca pearls. you bought. Also, I used white pearls, but they also come in multi colors.
1.  Boil a pan of water. I didn’t measure how much we used, but I want to say it was around 4 cups. You need enough water that all the tapioca pearls are submerged. As the tapioca pearls boil, the water gets thicker.

2.  Add tapioca pearls and boil for 20 minutes or until pearls appear soft and a clear gel coating appears. Stir occasionally to make sure they don’t stick together. (I kept waiting for the pearls to turn completely clear but they never did).
I tried adding salt to help preserve the tapioca pearls but it made the pearls fall apart and dissolve. You can kind of see in the picture that the pearls in the green bowl are fluffy looking compared to the yellow bowl.  After doing some reading, next time we do this activity I am going to try adding sugar.
If you look between two water beads you can see the clear gel coating that make them so fun to play with!
3.  Rinse the pearls in cold water and you can start playing with them. I added some water to the bowls so the beads would slip instead of stick together. 

I put our edible water beads in a container with a little water and stored them in the fridge. The water pulled the color out, but they stayed good in the fridge for a week. We haven’t tried regular water beads yet but I just ordered some so I will be able to compare the difference soon.

If you are adding color to the pearls divide the pearls up into separate bowls, stir in the food coloring, and let them sit for 3 hours. Rinse the extra food coloring off in water and now they are ready to play. I wasn’t very patient and didn’t rinse ours very well so a little food coloring came off on our hands as we played with them but it rinsed off so I wasn’t worried about it.
My kiddos loved playing with the edible water beads because they felt so cool. They kept dragging their fingers around their bowl as if they couldn’t get enough of this new feeling!  

Here are more Sensory activities for you to enjoy: 

How to Make Insta-Snow
Ice Cream Play Dough Recipe
Edible Sensory Sand Recipe

I hope you enjoy your edible water beads! Thanks for visiting, Love-Katie & the Kiddos 


  1. They are so fun, we finally tried out the store bought kind of water beads too and we think they are amazing!

    1. Hi Anna, thanks so much for visiting from After School. I am so glad to hear you think our activity is cool! 🙂

  2. What a great idea!! Congratulations on being most clicked this week!! Thank you for sharing on Sharing Saturday!

    1. Hi Carrie, that is so exciting thanks for stopping by to share the news! Have a great weekend 🙂

  3. Congratulations! This post is going to be featured over at Diana Rambles tomorrow and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, and Recommended on G+. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

    1. Hi Diana, I am so excited thank you so much for all the social media support, time, and effort for my post! I will be sure to stop by and see what other fun activities you have and grab a button while I am there! 🙂

    1. Hi Jolanthe, thanks! I am pretty sure my kids tried that and attempted to fit as much of themselves in their bowls as possible. lol 🙂

    1. Thanks for visiting I am so happy to hear you are going to try this out. It's so fun, I hope you enjoy!

    1. Hi Lauren, thanks for dropping by 🙂 Yes, it's the same thing. Who would of ever thought frozen yogurt and sensory beads went together 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *