I scooped them onto the top of the soil of my 6 houseplants to keep them moist while we were gone for 5 days. They kept everything plenty moist! In fact, I still didn't need to do any watering for a couple of days after we returned home, except for my big ivy plant which is in a very tiny pot (and needs to be repotted or restarted very badly!)
I eventually scooped the beads off the plants. That was the only part that I wasn't too crazy about. The potting soil stuck to the beads somewhat, so I had lots of little bits of soil mixed in. I rinsed the beads in a colander, but there was still a lot of stuff to pick out. But I did it, and I'd probably take the same route again next time we go somewhere for a few days.
I then spread out the beads in 3 pans and let them dry out. Here's what we ended up with:
They sure don't look like much compared to those in the top photo, do they?
They were still fun to play in and scoop up, though!
All in all, I liked the results of the experiment. And I'm glad they don't take up much room to store.
If I didn't have cats in the house, I'd also use some of the beads in vases of cut flowers. But I know what Josie'd do with that!