Sunday, 4 November 2012

Busy Bean Bag Play!

Recently we made our own home made set of beanbags.
Find out the details on how we made them here!
Bean bags are such a great learning tool.
They can be used to play so many fun games with a wide variety of learning outcomes.
Here are some of the ways we have been learning through bean bag play!
Suitable Ages 2-6

Physical: Gross Motor Development

How many ways can you carry a bean bag.
Get your child to investigate how many ways they can hold a beanbag.
They might try on their shoulder, knee, foot, under their chin, back of their neck, on their head, between there knees!
This promotes body awareness.
Bean bag toss.
Have your child practise their underarm throw and see how many they can get in the hoop. For more of a challenge move further back or use a bucket as the target.
Do some maths- how many landed in and how many landed out?
Stand in the hoop and throw the beanbags into the tub!
Can you catch a beanbag by your self?
Can you catch a beanbag with a partner?
We had been playing this together, however playing catch and taking a photo at the same time is out of my skill level lol. Here she was playing with her Dad at the end of the day before bath and bed!
Encourage correct underarm throwing technique.
Prepare your child for catching by reminding them to keep their eyes on the beanbag and have their catching hands ready.
To increase the difficulty stand further apart.
Balance a bean bag on your head
And try to march around to music!
  Try music that changes tempo!
This is great for balance and body awareness.
Take it outdoors and set up a bean bag balance course!
Here I've just used some up turned bowls as markers and a hoop for the starting position


Turn the bowls over and now you have a beanbag relay.
Children are required to carry one beanbag at a time, run and put them in the bowls. Once there is a beanbag in each bowl either they go and bring them back one at a time or if there is more than one child playing, the next player does this. Fun!


Alphabet toss. Throw your beanbag and see what letter it lands on!
At just turned 3 Miss M was reinforcing her letter name and sound recognition. Some letters she was able to give a word that began with the letter.
To extend this for older children you could,
  •  get your child to give you a word that starts with or ends with the letter.
  • use digraphs- sh, ch ,wh,ck, ff, qu etc or blends- bl, tr, cr, sl, st, fr, sn etc
  • use sight words or topic words your child is learning
  • use their spelling words and get them to spell the word when they land on it
If you don't have any mats like this, it's not an issue, you can create a similar game just using a4 pieces of paper with a letter, digraph, blend, word on each piece and taped together.


What number can you land on?
Great for number recognition.
Miss M however used the number ladder to see how far she could throw the beanbag which was a lot of fun!
"Wow! I landed on 8!!" 8 is her favourite number!!
You could extend this throwing 2 beanbags and adding up or taking away numbers!
Number recognition of teens and twenties!
I made this mat from A4 sheets of paper.
I quickly realised this was not enough of a challenge for Miss M who is a bit of a number fan!
So I flipped it over and wrote new numbers on the back!
This is a great CD that I have for beanbag play and it's great fun for use in the classroom!
 We've had many weeks of beanbag fun! There are sure to be many new games that we play also as time goes on and I'll be sure to share or add to this post!
Whatever areas your child is working on beanbags can be great motivational learning tool!
Play and Learn



  1. We have a set of homemade bean bags too! These are some fabulous ideas! We'll definitely be giving some of these a go! Thanks for sharing!

  2. SO MANY WONDERFUL WAYS TO USE BEAN BAGS. I wish I could sew, because I really love your homemade bean bags.

    P.S Your blog is looking great. Love the header.

  3. You know what?! I don't have ANY bean bags so now I'm going to have to make some! Yippee, love these ideas!

  4. What a brilliant collection of ideas. Thank you. I look forward to playing with bean bags when my little one is a bit older.

  5. What a fabulous collection of bean bag play and learning ideas!! I love the balancing bean bag on the reminds me of a time when Miss 2 was doing this with a song and she was in a fit of giggles everytime it fell of her it!

  6. Oh hello! This is legendary! I have bought some bean bags from a friend of mine who makes them for her etsy store - I have a set for Pebble and I bought a set each for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. I had planned to make them a set of activity cards to go with their bean bags - look at that you've done all the hard work for me! Thanks for the ideas.

  7. Such wonderful ideas with beanbags! I love your balance course outside...going to try that one with the twins as they love beanbags too!

  8. Wow, so many ideas there. We've been using soft toys and balls etc, but I really need to get us some beanbags! Thanks for sharing so many different ways to play and learn with beanbags :)

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