There is a good chance that if you are a parent, you have heard your children asking for Orbeez. But what exactly are Orbeez? Orbeez is actually a brand name for polymer balls that grow in size by the addition of water. They are a toy marketed towards children, but that was not their original purpose.
Originally, these fun, squishy balls were made for water plants. They trap water within and only give out small amounts. They hold enough fluid to water a plant without drowning it or overwatering. They work perfectly for people who often forget to water their plants. Some other uses for these versatile beads were to give water to very small animals. Tiny animals can fall into water dishes and drown, so the beads were used instead. By licking the beads, the animal could get water with no chance of drowning.
They were also used in large quantities to help in flood-ridden areas. The beads would be spread across the soaked areas and absorb flood water. Sometimes the material was not in bead form but more like a foam, yet the ingredients were still the same.
Is Orbeez Toxic?
One of the most frequently asked questions is, are these toys toxic? The answer is, no! They are completely non-toxic. In fact, they are made of the same kind of polymers that are used in baby diapers to absorb fluid. A word of caution, however, make sure you check packages. Some cheaper products are not non-toxic and could be potentially harmful. These are not made to put in your mouth or digest at any time.
Is Orbeez a Choking Hazard?
Another question often asked is if they are choking hazards. The truth is, anything your child can place in their mouth can be a choking hazard. The beads do not grow huge in size unless the jumbo ones are purchased, however, you want to be very careful with younger children and do not allow them to place in their mouth. Parents should always be present when younger children are playing with this toy and supervision is recommended.
The beads also have no smell and do not stain hands or clothing and come in a variety of colors as well. They will not block up sewer systems or the drain. They are bouncy and entertaining for children of all ages. The Orbeez brand makes several playsets and there are less expensive competitors as well.
Something else to remember is the beads can be allowed to dry out and then used again as once dry they will re-hydrate with the addition of more water. The polymer balls do not grow mold or anything of the like either. Children and adults alike enjoy playing with these little polymer balls.