Bean bags are great toys for kids of all ages. There are several different ways you can play with them to work on a variety of different skills. Here are 5 different skills you can work on while playing with bean bags:
1. Color Identification, Matching, Naming and Sorting: Gather bean bags of different colors and different bins to match. Encourage your child to pick up the bean bag and place it in the matching bin. Make it fun by having them toss the bean bags into the bins. How far away can they get? Put some tape on the floor and see if they can toss it from different distances.
2. Gross Motor Skills: Place bean bags across the room or yard. Have your child pick up a bean bag and carry it from one side to the other. Change up the way they move by telling them to run, jump, crawl, bear walk, crab walk, etc. while balancing the bean bag.
3. Cognitive and Language Skills: Take turns playing hide-and-seek with the bean bags. Have one person hide it and the others find it. Where did it go? Talk about where you are looking during the hunt. Is it under the bed? Is it on top of the table?
4. “Heavy Work” – For those with sensory processing issues, bean bags are great to work on “heavy work” which increases your child’s body awareness. Place several bean bags in a basket, wagon or shopping cart and have them push it across the room.
5. Visual Motor Skills – Take your bean bags outside with some sidewalk chalk. Draw a hopscotch on the ground. Toss a bean bag on the hopscotch and jump on the numbers – except the one with the bean bag. Or, draw a Tic-Tac-Toe board with the chalk and use 2 different colored bean bags to play Tic-Tac-Toe. Another way to work on visual motor skills would be to have your child throw the bean bags at a target, through a hula hoop, into a bucket, etc.
There are so many other things you can do with bean bags. They are a lot of fun to play with and fun to make. If you would like to learn how to make bean bags, we are hosting a sewing class at Brightsong on Saturday, April 25. Lisha Vidler from Yesterday’s Thimble will be teaching a 2 hour bean bag class. If you would like to learn more about the class or register, please call us at (901) 309-3077.
Now It’s Your Turn: Can you think of some other skills to target with bean bags?