What to do with Orbeez (water beads)

If you have kids, by now you've been begged for some of these squishy, bouncy water balls. Even if you don't have kids you've probably seen the commercials. Little tiny marbles that grow when you soak them in water and provide hours of creative fun. Yeah right!

My son lasted about 20 minutes before he went "But what do they DO?" Ummmm...nothing. Somewhere a man is flying cross country in his new jet laughing his butt off at all of us, but I digress. Now that you bought the Orbeez and the kids are bored with them, what can you do with water balls?

How to use water balls around the house

First, let's start with what they are. Orbeez are a superabsorbent polymer that can absorb and retain extremely large amounts of liquid relative to their own mass. These SAPs are then formed into a ball for that waterball look. 

You're probably more familiar with them though as the stuff inside diapers & sanitary pads or those gel like chunks in the pot of plants that grow in water like the Lucky Bamboo plants. Which brings me to my first 'alternative' use....

How to use Orbeez

You can plant them! Superabsorbent polymers were originally invented to conserve moisture in soil. The amazing thing is the plants suck the moisture out of the water beads when the soil starts to get dry. The water bead swells back up next time you water the plant, effectively storing moisture for the next time the soil starts to dry out. These are especially helpful for those that don't remember to water their houseplants very often!


Party decorations: I used clear ones in glass vases with Color changing submersible LED light balls for decorations at oldest daughters Graduation Party. I decorated dollar store vases with ribbons and decals in her theme (music) then let the bead filled vases sit there all day. When night came we just clicked the light balls on and dropped them in for a lit up display. So pretty!

Candle holders: Fill a short glass vase with water beads and add a long taper candle and they will hold the candle in place. Or use a large vase, add water beads and water then place a floating candle on top.

Flower holder: Fill a glass vase with water beads and some water then add fresh cut flowers. The beads will help stabilize the flowers so you can arrange them.

Graduation party lights

Glow light: For a fire-less approach, activate a glow stick and place inside a vase full of water beads to illuminate the area.

Make an air freshener: Add a few drops of essential oil to the water when you hydrate the Orbeez. Drain when full size and place in a shallow bowl for a cool looking air freshener. Here are my simple instructions to make your own air fresheners.

use Orbeez as an air freshener

Sensory play: Young kids love to squish and sort things and what better way to use Orbeez than to play with them? Check out these 8+ Water Bead activities for kids.

Water beads come in many colors, I just happen to use clear for most projects. The colors can be mixed together or even layered for a really cool look. They were originally made by the Maya Company but now are available just about everywhere.

Sadly, now that you shelled out the cash....that is about all that water beads AKA Orbeez are good for. I'm not actually sure what the point of orbeez are though, as a parent they just seem like a mess waiting to happen! The upside is, at least they are good for something!

Now, what are you gonna do with all that slime the kids just had to have?


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How to use orbeez


  1. Nice & Informative post on custom color Water beads.
    Thanks for this blog!!

    1. Thanks! ...and thanks for stopping by!


  2. They make incredible ice packs for injuries or dental needs aka (wisdom tooth extraction) place orbeez in a sandwhich size ziploc freezer bag with 4 oz of rubbibg alcohol and 2oz of h2o and freeze.

    1. Waat a great idea! Thanks for the tip!


  3. my daughter put them in a balloon to make a stress ball.