This activity uses a few more supplies then I generally use but is reusable and can be used in the car because it’s good CLEAN fun instead of the messes that sensory activities can usually lead to. Here are some of the supplies that you’ll need.
I used a clear packaging bag because using a ziplock scared me. I don’t trust my kids that much. Water beads, I purchased 50,000 on Amazon here and it cost me less than $12.00. A key ring and little random things around the house. You’ll also need a piece of paper and some coloring tools. Before you start you’ll want to combine about a tablespoon of water beads with water so that they have time to grow. You’re going to divide the paper into little pieces and then draw pictures, or if you’re fancier then me you could take pictures and print them off. I made my 3-year-old his own little pieces of paper and it was actually very enjoyable sitting down for an hour while the baby was asleep and making our “what to search for” cards together. Then we hole punched them and put them on the keyring.
Your water beads should be grown by now. You’re going to dump some into the clear packaging bag, place a few of the small items in, dump more beads and repeat etc. until you have all of the items in the bag. Leave a little space at the top because you want your kids to be able to squish them around to search for the items. If it’s too full you won’t be able to. I also taped the top after sealing it, again because you can’t ever be too careful when kids and potentially messy things. Here is the end result.
We’ve had this bag for months, it’s played with regularly and held up wonderfully. Also, a small sidenote, a made one of these just full of water beads for my baby girl and she loves squishing it around too. So this one works for all ages.