Bean Bags are a FUN and inexpensive prop that can be used for many different activities to develop gross motor skills, body awareness and sensory play.
Sew about 10 bean bags together in different colours or textured fabric and make half of them different weights. You can fill them with beans, rice, plastic pellets or foam balls.
I had an awesome FUN bean bag session with one of my little Clamber Clubbers this week.
Here are some fun activities with bean bags:
1.Throw bean bags into a basket and increase the distance gradually. This game develops visual skills such as depth perception and focusing.
2.Throwing, catching and aiming are an important skill that all children need to learn. This helps a child to focus on and track a moving object which is an important skill required for reading and writing.
3.Draw a circle on the ground with chalk and aim at the circle or hang a pillow from your swing frame and throw the bean bag at the pillow to practice target throwing.
4.Set up a bowling alley with old water bottles filled with a bit of rice and aim at hitting down as many bottles as you can with each throw.
5.Practice some body awareness skills by putting the bean bag on different body parts which also increases a child’s vocabulary.
6.Try different gross motor activities like running, walking, jumping and kicking with a bean bag balanced on different body parts to promote object balance. Our favourites were holding the bean bag between and knees and hopping like a bunny and balancing the bean bag on our foot and kicking it up to try and catch it.
7.Put out some coloured shapes and match the colours. Matching of colours is often grasped before the naming of colours.
8.Using your coloured shapes, play a spatial game by putting the bean bag on the square, under the square, in front of and behind it. Spatial games are important for understanding shapes.
9.During Autumn or winter incorporate some sensory fun. Throw bean bags into a huge pile of leaves and have fun searching for them after they sunk into the pile. You can also use this to have some colour fun. Imagine the tactile experiences your child will have with this game!
10.Use bean bags to walk over in the garden while looking for teddy bears to have a picnic with after all your bean bag FUN!!!
Little P and I had so much bean bag FUN during our session. Remember when you are introducing games with toddlers to keep it fresh and FUN! Introduce a few games at a time and recap on the old ones too so that you do roughly 3/4 activities with your bean bags each time. Start with some indoor activities and them move outdoors to keep their attention. Bean Bag games are endless and FUN. Please send us your ideas too!