Of beans and beanbags

One of Dustyfeet’s favourite activities at the moment involves beans. Two packets of dried beans: fava beans, which are about the same size as lima or butter beans, and black eyed beans, which are a bit smaller. The possibilities for bean entertainment are endless. Here are some of the things Dustyfeet does with beans:

Mummy-led bean play

  • Two bowls, containing one or both types of beans, plus a spoon, a ladle, a sieve, or whatever other implements come to hand. Place bowls on a large tray. Spoon, scoop or pour beans from one bowl to the other, experimenting with the sound of the beans and the spoons against the side of the bowls (we have one plastic and one metal bowl). Try to keep all the beans on the tray (not likely, but better with encouragement!).
  • Stir the beans.
  • Collect all the beans scattered across the kitchen floor and put them back in the bowl.
  • Sort out the two types of beans into separate bowls (again, not likely!).

Dustyfeet-led bean play

  • Put beans in dolly’s teacup (her other favourite toy) and feed to dolly with a very small teaspoon (great for hand-eye coordination!), or offer to dolly as a drinkable bean soup.
  • Put in mouth (a surprisingly rare event – she seems to know they’re not meant to be eaten raw).
  • Scatter beans all over floor. Try to pick them up with a spoon. Failing this, scatter them further.

I suspect there are many more variations on bean games that we will discover as Dustyfeet grows. Counting games come to mind but I’d welcome other suggestions! Meanwhile, the beans kept Dustyfeet entertained for a good hour or so yesterday while I made these:


I got the idea from one of my favourite craft blogs, http://www.ikatbag.com/2009/06/five-stones.html . They’re for playing a game which she calls “five stones” and I call “knucklebone jacks” (not that I ever played it with knucklebones – or with beanbags, come to that). The game is way too advanced for Dustyfeet, but I thought she’d have fun doing other things with these little beanbags – tossing them into bowls, carrying them around in a bucket, counting games again (she has started saying “two” when I start counting – we go “one”, “two, two, two, two”). She’ll find something to do with them! I need to make another one so she can eventually count up to five – Dustyfeet’s patience (and the attraction of the beans) ran out before I got to the last one.

I rather like the shape of these little bags – I think I might make a big beanbag for Dustyfeet to sit on, if I can find a source of the right kind of beans!

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