The table coverings sat seven inches off the bottom of the tables so the children would reach into the holes to collect the water beads. Once they collected them, they rolled them down PVC half-pipes that were set on inclines. The inclines were opposing so the beads could be transported back and forth between the two tables.
The beads were extremely attractive because of their features. They were soft, slippery, and translucent.
That was over three years ago. I remember vividly how much exploration water beads inspired in the children. One boy even invented his own game using the water beads.
Water bead game from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
Is he trying to roll the water bead across the top of the table or is he trying to get it back into a hole? I am not sure, but I think it is the former. In any case, his game is to roll the water bead and track where it goes.
I decided to bring back the water beads. To do that, I combined the beads with the small Table Covering with Holes and the Oobleck Platform.