Wash beans before use.
Throughly dry beans, at least 12 hours before use
Do not use with children under 3 or kids who still put things in their mouth
There is a popular saying “Beans, beans, the magical fruit.” As cute as the saying might be their is nothing magical about the faces of disgust children make when they see them. The trick to making them magical again just might be to stop thinking of them as food and start thinking of them as craft supplies.
This simple project will have your children loving beans in no time, not to mention is costs very little to make. Take two pieces of equal size fabric and place them right sides together. Sew three of the sides and turn right side out. Fill 3/4 of the way with dry beans and then stitch the top closed. This is a great family project as older children can be taught to use the sewing machine, while the younger children stuff the bags with beans. After they are finished they can be used for anything that involves throwing. Kids horseshoe style game, hopscotch or simple toss the bean bag. If you don’t want to deal with the sewing just gather your mismatched socks. Use string or glue to seal the tops once full.
Native Americans first started making rattles by filling deer or buffalo intestines with beans, seeds and small rocks to make rattles. Some tribes also dried gourds and the seed from the gourd made a natural rattle. Today we can continue the concept of recycling in a more refined, and kid friendly way. Take any clean and dry container, tin or plastic work best, and fill it 3/4 of the way with beans. Then seal the top. Plastic single serve drink bottle work really well for this as they have screw on lids and are easy for children to hold.
These are a simple project for younger kids, but can also be a challenge for older ones. Get a variety of seeds and beans so that you have several colors available. Give each child a piece of card stock or other material that will hold the weight of the beans. Then let the kids glue to beans to the paper to make a picture. Younger children use crayons or markers to enhance their work. Older children can challenge themselves by making a mosaic style image. For more color options use Easter Egg dye or markers to color the beans.
Eye Spy Bottles
I’ve noticed these little bottles in toy stores but they would be simple to make – not to mention will save you $12. Place beans or rice in clear container. Then add assorted other small objects. Alphabet bead, tiny saftey pin, the tiny toy hairbrush that gets lost 5 minutes after you open the toy because it’s so small. Anything about the same size as the bean. Once you fill the seal the top and shake to mix the items up. The child can then shake the container to see the items inside. You can either give them a list of items to find or just tell them the number to see if they can find them. If you use a bottle with a screw cap then the contents can be changed out once the child finds all the items.
This project is a fall favorite. Find several pinecones, smother them in peanut butter, and then roll them in seeds, nuts and beans. Hang the pinecone in a tree where it can be seen from the window. Kids will enjoy watching the birds and squirrels coming to eat.
These fun items make the sound of rain when they are tilted on way or the other. They were first used by Native Americans as a way to call the rain. They are a little more complicated than the other projects so they are best for children over the age of 8 unless they are working in groups. For great detailed directions you can check out Canadian Living’s article Rain Schtick.
I hope these projects but the magic back into beans for your kids. If you enjoyed this article please share it with your friends and family by using the buttons at the top of the page. Thank you.