As frequent Amazon and Target 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 a CBD face mask. 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. You can see, even from the packaging, that they look like tiny little marbles but feel like eyeballs (feel free to tell that to your kids to gross them out).
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? Excellent question! 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.
In the meantime, kids are hanging off of carts, throwing tantrums for these colored eyeballs and it’s still difficult to see the appeal. Why are my kids so eager to dish out $12 of their own money for these little beads that eventually look like grapes with their skins peeled off? Yes, kids are weird and they like the weirdest things but what is it about sticking your body party in little jelly marbles?
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.
Here’s what we found still available:
This Orbeez Super Crush Super Sweet Shoppe comes with 10 bags of Orbeez seeds in 7 colors and makes 2,000 grown Orbeez. Did anyone else get anxiety when you read 2,000 Orbeez? With this kit, you crush your Orbeez to create these tasty treats, just don’t actually let your kid taste them. The set comes with 8 sweet recipes to choose from. All you gotta do is crush, form, and display your finished creations. It sounds like a lot of fun but a word to the wise, prepare for a mess. “My 3 and 7-year-olds love this toy! It’s pretty easy for them to use and I only had to help a little. It makes a huge mess but the kids have a blast. It will only be used as an outside toy from now on because of the mess factor but definitely recommend,” said Allison Fee.
As if your kid needs a spa day, this Orbeez Luxury Foot Spa will give your child’s feet a treat. I guess running around on the playground and stepping all over your nerves can be tiring. They can soak their little tootsies in this foot spa that comes with more than 2,000 Orbeez that magically grow in warm water for a sensory sensation. This kit gets lit with LED lighting on the top of the tub that tells you how much longer you have on your foot spa. Unlike some of the other Orbeez kits, this one comes with easy clean-up. The strainer removes water without losing Orbeez. Plus, the water beads are reusable so once you let them dry, they’re ready for another customer. Depending on the size of your feet, mom can dip her toes in too because the tub can fit up to an adult shoe size 8.
There’s a magical surprise that needs your help to be revealed. For the record, anytime a toy adds an adorable little creature, it’s an automatic a win. These little Wowzers come hidden inside of a globe filled with the one and only, Orbeez! That’s right, all you have to do is add water to reveal your surprise pet. Twist the handle to make your pet spin or dance. You can hide your pet by removing the water and then reveal it all over again. There’s 20 Wowzers to collect! One reviewer said, “I got the Wowzer Surprise Garden of Wonder for my 7-year-old daughter for Easter. She absolutely loves it! It has simple to follow instructions and was so much fun! The little creatures are absolutely adorable and she can’t wait to collect them all. Highly recommend!” There’s lots to collect including Breeze, Vine, Juniper, Blossom and more. There’s even a super rare surprise pet.
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.