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Water Bead Play

We’ve been playing with our Water beads again and doing some fine motor skills moving them using a variety of different methods.

Water Bead Play

We have been having a challenge with J to use anything other than his hands to eat, transfer items or basically do anything so I thought that using some water beads would be a fun way to get him to use some different methods to transfer items from one container to another one.

developing pincer grip using water beads including applying different pressures

I set up some waterbeads in a large tupperware box on the table and provided J with a variety of different tools that he could use to transfer the beads into one of our supermarket muffin cases. At first typically of J he used his hands – he’s got a great pincer grip and has mastered how to hold a pen effectively to write – so to encourage him to use the tools I got in and played in the water beads with him as well.

Using tools to develop hand eye co-ordination and muscle control using water beads

Of the tools one of our old formula scoops was his favourite – he found that it could hold more beads than the other and was easier to manipulate to move items from the box to the muffin case.

I don’t know whether it’s normal (or even what is to be expected) but J at 34 months still will only use a spoon for yogurt he won’t attempt to use a fork or knife and despite having ate every meal with us since well before 1 and T already showing inclinations to become proficient in spoon and fork use quickly J is reluctant. I would love some suggestions of ways to encourage him if you have any?

Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.


  1. I love how you try to encourage him to use some tools. Derin doesn’t like messy hands so I had set up a slide for him and he posting the water beads through the tunnel slide 🙂

  2. That’s kind of funny that J doesn’t want to use a fork! For knives, maybe he would enjoy making applesauce (cut the apples with a butter knife)?

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