Bean bags are a lot of fun, whether you have a game to go with them or not. I created a simple beanbag game for the Numala Jajumms to practice their throwing and catching skills, but I didn’t have any bean bags! So I decided to make some.
I have been working my way through a pile of old t-shirts to make little quilts for rest time, and already had several little squares cut out. I stitched them on three and a half sides, turned them right-side out and filled them up inside with dried peas before hand-stitching them closed. I made four of each colour, just to ease that moment when everyone wants the same colour. This way children can choose their own and we can focus on the game. There are five colours, 20 bean bags. This should be plenty for four children and myself, for a wide range of games!
If you would like the children to take great care of them, involve them in making them. The children can use a spoon to fill the bags with peas and have a go at stitching them closed. I don’t mind what the children’s efforts look like, so long as the peas are contained.
I can’t wash these bean bags, as they are filled with dried peas which will expand, sprout or go mouldy when wet, so that means that I am careful where I use them. I keep them in a lidded container so that no little critters feel tempted to have a nibble when they are not in use, as I keep many of my resources outside. That’s happened to me before! An old bulk food container is perfect, and also acts as a bucket to aim for.
I could have bought some different fabric and filled them with the plastic beads used for teddy-making, however I chose to make them this way because I wanted to use what I had at home, rather than to buy new. I will just have to take care of them, and if they do get wet, then we could always plant the peas in the garden or add the whole beanbag to the compost. More durable bean bags could perhaps be made from old colourful rain coats, or the fabric from an old umbrella that has had its day. Those will, at least will have a water-proof surface that you should be able to wipe clean.