There are many days I walk into our pantry and stare at the shelves, wondering how I can entice my boys. I seek out various ingredients such as grains, sugar, salt, corn starch, baking soda, and vinegar. My eyes always seem to find their way and land on beans, perhaps the most versatile of all craft supplies. This post includes 10 Awesome Activities with Beans covering areas from sensory to fine motor to math to science. Children are sure to adore these activities!
Super easy to put together, beans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to delight children's senses of touch and sight.
Fine Motor: Pouring
This bean activity is one of the first Practical Life works introduced to children in an Early Childhood classroom. The work guides children's fine motor skills development as well as focus and concentration. There is a built in control of error (the beans don't make it to the other vessel) that allows children to correct themselves without an adult's assistance.
Art: Bean Mosaic
One of our favorite art projects easily applied across many areas of the classroom, even cultural studies. The activity gives children lots of room for creativity.
Life Sciences: Introducing Parts of a Seed
A classic botany activity for young children. You can soak a bean to get the skin to easily fall off to investigate the inside of the bean. Add a magnifying glass to the work area and children will be engaged beyond your imagination.
Engineering: Simple Building Materials for Kids
Beans are a wonderful building material, and, unlike marshmallows, probably won't tempt your child! Be sure to soak the bean over night and to use large enough beans if your child has particularly small fingers.
These gloves are so much fun and will intrigue your child. Fill with all different shapes of beans, corn starch, sugar, or even water, if you dare!
Fine Motor: Transferring
Another beginning Practical Life work in the early childhood Montessori classroom. This activity is attractive to children because of the feel of the beans (or gems as in this image) and the sound the objects make as they hit the bowl.
Auditory Sense: DIY Sound Cylinders
Sound Bottles are a traditional Sensorial work in a Montessori classroom. The child distinguishes the different sounds by matching pairs and grading.
Sensory: Discovery Bottles
Babies and Toddlers love Discovery Bottles. So easy to do yourself by filling with a variety of household items!
Math: Counting Activities
Beans can be easily used for math activities. Sort beans, count with beans, and even perform math operations using beans!