I have a lovelie bestie who lives too far away. She regularly sends me postcards of herself in various silly hats, and they adorn my kitchen cupboards so thickly it looks like a shrine…or like I am a stalker. Thank you, Cookie!
Our most recent joy was a package full of finger lights (which you should also get. They fall into the cheap but AWESOME! category for sure!) and water beads. We requested the finger lights as my mother previously sent us four (ha) and they were used every single day till they died, but the water beads were a total surprise. Water beads have been on my list to get for about a year, so I was overjoyed to get them.
We dumped some in bowls of water. They are supposed to soak for five or six hours before they obtain their water beady shape/squish, but the kids played immediately. For AN HOUR AMD A HALF. They watched them change, counted them, made them dance and swirl in the water, used spoons to pretend bake, mixed colours, and Snort did some crazy ass game where they were being attacked by a spoon and had to run away.
These things come in all colours and are very cheap. They are awesome for sensory play and learning, though of course I believe a child’s work IS playing.
I have a feeling these things may be able to dry out, shrink, and be saved for future play….but even if they can’t, they are totally worth experimenting with. Completely Snort and Coconut recommended!