Apparently, All Kids Really Want For The Holidays Are Orbeez (Yup, They're Still A Thing)

by Christine Organ
Originally Published: 

Wondering what the deal is with Orbeez? As frequent Amazon and Walmart shoppers, we’d like to think of ourselves as up on the latest and greatest toys, mainly because we’re constantly on the lookout for something that will keep our kid occupied long enough to enjoy something soothing like a CBD face mask or teaching yourself how to draw a rose. Although we’ll pretty much buy anything, one thing is giving the mama community pause — Orbeez.

You’re not the only one wondering what these things are. In fact, according to the latest search data available to us, Orbeez has a search volume of 246,000 per month. PER MONTH! But as these things slowly take over our lives, we still need to figure out WTF Orbeez are and why my kids are so obsessed with them. (These colorful spheres may have even usurped their favorite Disney cartoon characters and baby shark toys as their number one obsession — for now.) You can see, even from the packaging, that they look like tiny little marbles, but they feel like eyeballs (feel free to tell that to your kids to gross them out). So without further ado …

What are Orbeez?

In a nutshell, Orbeez are actually super-absorbent polymers that grow to more than 100 times their volume when placed in water. And just what the hell are polymers, you ask? And what are Orbeez made of? Excellent questions! The Orbeez website (which is about as scientific as I feel like getting about this), says that polymers are several molecules joined together and they grow when the water is absorbed in the spaces between the molecules. Apparently, polymers were invented way back in the ’60s to irrigate crops during droughts. As parents, we know polymers as the tiny beads inside diapers. Yea, Orbeez are basically just colorful diaper pellets — still trying to figure out if there’s a way to just take them out of a diaper and dye them like an egg, will get back to you on that.

Here’s where to buy Orbeez:

What can you do with Orbeez?

In the name of research, I did a Google search for “things to do with Orbeez,” and well, let’s just say, that’s an hour I won’t get back. You can make slime and add them to soap. You can put them in shaving cream or on top of light tables for sensory exploration. You can fill water tables and bathtubs with Orbeez (okay, is it just me or does an Orbeez-filled bathtub sound a little kinky to you? No? Just me? Okay then…).

There are Orbeez bracelets and Orbeez ornaments, and then there is the super-creepy baby doll in an Orbeez bath. There are entire Pinterest boards devoted to Orbeez crafts, and I have to admit, flowers inside a vase filled with Orbeez is actually kind of cute.

At the end of the day, I’m no closer to understanding the Orbeez craze, but what I do know is that these puppies sell out almost as soon as their restocked. This explains why there are so many Orbeez knockoffs around, too. If you’re considering springing for one of these Orbeeze sets you’d better grab them quick.

If you find yourself sitting on a half-empty bag of Orbeez balls because your kid, being a kid, grew bored of them, why not use it for yourself. No joke, you can make a stress ball out of a bag of Orbeez. You’ll need a little relaxation after you’ve accidentally stepped on your 200th ball of the day.

Over Orbeez? See what other toys we’ve spotted recently.


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