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