The Magic of Orbeez: What Are They and How Can You Use Them?

By Tavish Archer
Edited On

Curious about what Orbeez really are? As an expert, I can tell you they’re more than just a sensory play activity for kids.

My journey began when my sister Sarah brought them home from school, and I soon discovered their incredible potential while watching her play with them. These small, expandable water toys are capable of so much more than just being squished and squeezed!

From research and experimentation, I found that Orbeez have a fascinating history and a wide range of uses. They have become a beloved staple in many households for sensory play, decoration, stress relief, gardening, and more.

Join me on this journey of discovery into the world of these amazing little beads.

Wonders of Orbeez

What Are Orbeez?

Orbeez or gel balls are small beads made from a superabsorbent polymer comprising mostly sodium hydroxide, acrylic acid, and water, forming sodium polyacrylate with a gel-like texture. These beads can absorb hundreds of times their weight in water, growing in size as they soak. A hydrated and expanded Orbeez ball is soft and feels more like jellies.

The term itself is a trade name of Orbeez, first developed by Maya Toys in 1992 and then sold to the multinational toy company Spin Master back in 2009. Since then, Orbeez has been a common name for gel balls or water beads. Today, it has become incredibly popular worldwide.

Why Were They Invented?

Originally, Orbeez were created as a way to provide a soil alternative for farming and horticulture. However, they quickly gained popularity as a sensory play material for children and as a decorative element for floral arrangements and centerpieces.

The creators of Orbeez recognized the potential of these tiny, water-absorbing beads and expanded their use to include stress relief products, spa treatments, and even as a way to hydrate cut flowers. Today, it continues to be a popular and versatile product that can be used in a variety of creative ways.

Orbeez balls for recreational activities

What Are Orbeez Used For?

Orbeez balls have a variety of applications today. Here are some of the unique and creative ways:

1. Sensory Play

Orbeez are often used as a sensory play material for children. The small, squishy beads are great for tactile exploration and you can use them in a variety of sensory activities.

For example, one fun activity is to fill a container with Orbeez and let kids run their hands through them, feeling the beads squish and move around. They can also be used in sensory bins, where kids can dig and search for hidden treasures or objects buried in the beads.

2. Hydrating & Holding Flowers In A Vase

Having trouble setting up the flowers fresh and straight in your vase? You can use Orbeez as a perfect solution for this.

To use Orbeez balls in a flower vase, simply add the soaked balls to the bottom of the vase and then insert the flowers. The balls will help to hold the flowers in place and keep them hydrated by providing a source of water. This can help to prevent the flowers from drooping or falling over, ensuring that they stay fresh and upright for longer.

3. Ammunition For Toy Guns

Nowadays, Orbeez are largely used as ammunition for toy guns known as gel blasters and Orbeez guns. These guns shoot out gellets- a special variant, and are perfect for playing recreational shooting games with your friends in real life.

Also See: What Happens If You Use Ordinary Orbeez In Gel Guns?

4. Decorating Colorful Light Jar

Here’s a nice way to use Orbeez balls for decorative purposes. You can fill an LED light jar with these colorful beads and use them as a night light. This makes them much more unique, giving an interesting look. Children might be particularly fond of such light-filled shining jars.

5. Creative Art

Feeling more creative? Orbeez can be used to create beautiful works of art, just like the way sand art is made. You may create letters, words, statues, or even pictures with these interesting gel balls.

6. Air Freshener

You can even use Orbeez beads as an air freshener. Before you soak them, add your favorite essential oil to the water. Once the beads soak in the water, they will carry an aromatic smell. All you need to do is place them anywhere you need the air freshened up.

7. Stress Relief

The texture and feel of Orbeez can be very calming and soothing. For this reason, those expandable water toys are often used as stress relief products. Here are a few examples:

  • Orbeez stress balls: These stress balls are a popular stress relief tool that can be squeezed and squished to help relieve tension and anxiety. The soft, squishy texture of the balls can be very soothing and calming to the touch.
  • Orbeez foot spa: It is a relaxing way to unwind after a long day. Simply add the dry gellets to a basin of warm water and let your feet soak in the sensory experience. This can help relieve stress and tension throughout your body.
  • Orbeez sensory bin: A sensory bin filled with Orbeez can be a fun and calming way to play and relax. Running your fingers through the gel balls and feeling the squishy texture can be a soothing and grounding experience.
  • Orbeez eye pillow: This is another great way to relieve eye strain and tension. The weight of the pillow and the cooling sensation can help reduce puffiness and promote relaxation.

8. Spa Treatments

Orbeez are a popular choice in some spa treatments as they can add a unique and enjoyable sensory experience to massages, facials, and other treatments.

For example, Orbeez is added to a foot bath or foot massage to create a more interesting and relaxing experience. You can also use the small, colorful beads to a facial spa to provide a cooling sensation and help reduce puffiness around the eyes.

In addition, these tiny ball are incorporated into body treatments such as body wraps or exfoliating scrubs. Some spas may even offer Orbeez massages, where the therapist uses a special Orbeez-filled cushion or pillow to create a unique and soothing sensation during the massage.

9. Gardening

You can use Orbeez as an alternative to soil in certain gardening applications, particularly in hydroponic gardening. When added to the hydroponic system, they absorb water and expand in size, creating a gel-like substance that surrounds the plant roots. This substance helps to hold moisture around the roots, ensuring that the plants receive enough water to grow properly.

Used orbeez on garden pot

Are They Harmful For Environment?

You might understandably be a little worried about biodegradability of Orbeez beads, considering they’re made synthetically. Well, keep in mind that these jelly balls were developed for agricultural purposes in the first place. They are completely environment-friendly and won’t harm the soil in any way. How long Orbeez will last depends on how you are growing, storing and disposing them of.

Are Orbeez Safe To Play With?

Don’t worry, Orbeez balls aren’t toxic or poisonous in any way. However, it’s not perfectly safe to let kids play with them. If they swallow one of these beads, it may cause intestinal obstruction and other health problems. Although, they do not break down or bind together while undergoing the digestive process.

So, remember that Orbeez are not edible and you should not hand them over to kids younger than three years of age, as it might result in a choking hazard.

Hydrated orbeez after use

What To Do With Orbeez When Done?

When I’m done using Orbeez, I usually dry them out and store them for later use. To dispose them of, I spread them out on a flat surface and let them dry for several days until they shrink back down to their original size. Then, I store them in an airtight container.

However, never flush them in the toilet or sink as they can clog up the pipe system, which is difficult to clean up. Orbeez are also safe to get rid of in the trash bin or compost if you have a home composting system.

Also Read: The Best Gel Balls For Toy Guns

The Takeaway

In conclusion, Orbeez are small, water-absorbing beads that have captured the hearts of children and adults alike. They offer a range of benefits, from sensory play to stress relief, and can be used in various ways, from gardening to spa treatments. Whether you’re looking for a new toy for your children, a way to add some flair to your home decor, or a stress-relieving tool, Orbeez have something to offer.

So, why not give them a try the expandable water toys and see what creative uses you can come up with?

The possibilities are endless!

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer is a Recreational Gamer, Author, and Co-Founder of ThrilloGaming. He holds a degree in Sports Management from Mississippi College (MC), United States. His experience and proficiency in the field allow him to provide winning strategies, creative ideas, and expert advice.

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