Space play with water beads

space play water beads

Following on from our water bead science experiment, this week we’ve been enjoying some imaginative space play in our water bead sensory tub. With rockets, aliens and a lunar landscape the children have been stretching their imaginations and playing in a totally different world. Here’s how they took their water beads into outer space.

Water bead space play 

space play

The children made some aliens to start off with. Although all the water is drained off the water beads once they’ve swollen to their full size the sensory tub still has some moisture to it, so we decided paper creatures would just go soggy after a while. We wanted to be able to add our characters to the water bead sensory tub so we decided to use permanent markers on foam sheets.

space play

To create the landscape for our space play tub we painted some pieces of card with black glitter paint, which gave us the perfect background. The children then drew some planets and moons on card, covered them with glue, and sprinkled on lots of gold and silver metallic foil pieces. They cut out  the plants and used sticky tape to add a thread on to each one so our planets could really go into orbit.


space play

We use an under-the-bed storage box for our sensory tub, which we popped into an empty paddling pool so the children can sit inside and play and any stray water beads get caught before they skitter off across the room. We taped the black card around three sides of the tub to create our universe, with a cotton thread across the top to suspend our planets. B added a swirling Milky Way.

space play
Our rockets were made from plastic drink cups, with foam pieces stuck on – again, so that they could be safely used in the water beads without going soggy.

space play sensory tub

The children loved the space play tub. The sensory nature of the water beads work their magic and seem to relax the children but at the same time the added ideas of the lunar landscape were a fantastic springboard for their imaginations – there were lots of daring adventures happening and creative conversations taking place between our alien characters.

Do you children enjoy outer space play?

If you have any ideas for extending our landscape or other space play ideas please leave us a suggestion or a link in the comments.


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