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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Bean Box

When Kayla was in the Early Childhood Intervention program we had therapists come to our house. A few times they brought what was called the "bean box." A rectangular plastic bin filled with beans and rice (and once some different colored and shaped pastas.) Kayla loved it the 3 or 4 times they brought this over. She just had so much fun scooping and pouring and playing with the beans and rice (although I could have done without the rice as it makes a much bigger mess!)

The first time they brought this over I thought to myself, "self, you need to make up one of these for Kayla to play with!" For some reason I never got around to it, I guess I just forgot about it because I never buy the bagged beans. Which was a shame, because she really, really liked playing in it. It was the only thing she got upset about when they had to pack up and leave. She didn't want to put the beans away.

A while ago friends of ours moved and gave us some of their pantry staples - canned veggies, peanut butter, juices, and a bag of pinto beans. As I said, I've never bought bagged beans before so these just sat in our cabinet. Yesterday I finally got the brilliant idea to dump this bag in a bucket and see if Kayla still enjoyed playing with the beans. She sure did!

I just put an old tablecloth on the floor with the bean bucket, some dump trucks and let her have at it. She played with this for an hour! Yes, a full hour! She doesn't play with anything for a full hour. There was no playing with it for 5 or 10 minutes and then leaving it to move on to something else. Even after an hour she didn't want to put it up. We asked her, "Kayla is it time to put the beans away?" (No!) "Kayla are you finished with the beans?" (No!) She was quiet and content to just sit there and scoop and dump. I played with her the first half hour, then Joe got home from work and took the next 1/2 hr while I made dinner.

Why do we buy our kids all these toys when they are most content with non-toy items?! Yes I recognize the irony in me saying that when I am a Discovery Toys consultant!!

Oh, and just a piece of advice. As I mentioned, I've never bought, nor used, bagged beans before...and if you haven't either, and want to use this activity with your kiddos, I recommend washing the beans first. Our fingers and the toys were so dirty after playing with them!

I told you she loves to wink now!




Beans anyone?



32 comments:

Much More Than A Mom said...

Awesome! I have one in my classroom and intend to make one for Rylan as soon as he won't choke on the beans. I got the idea from Chelle, I think.

smileymamaT said...

That is the perfect pastime. Good for you for doing it! (Yay, Mom!) The teacher part of me just needs to point out, to moms of littler kids, to keep an eye on those beans as they're easier to get into a nose or ear than to get out! Ha! But they're loads of fun!
:) T

Mama Mia said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I agree with you about the store-bought toys vs. housewares/homemade toys. My kids have always been more interested in playing with pots and pans and spatulas than anything else!

My son, Grayson also likes to play with the bean/rice box at therapy, but he still puts everything in his mouth. So we don't have one at home yet. He's really into cars and books right now. Things I don't have to worry he'll choke on! :-)

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I've been reading yours for a while now. I'm a much better lurker then a commenter! I think I came across it by way of Barb (A Chelsea Morning) and I came across Barb's by way of her niece, Sarah. What a small blogosphere, huh? (I don't think that I've commented on their blogs either. Shame, shame on me!)

Anonymous said...

I just loved the wink in her picture! She was so cute in the video! You can tell how much fun she had with those beans! I love her yeah she said it with so much excitement!
I have bought those beans before for school project. my kids had to do a hundred day of school thing. we would make a butterfly etc. out of them. Of course the had to be glued and colored. They enjoyed doing that also.
Kids do seem to love playing with nontoys. with my son Gary it is boxes. still to this day he loves to make things out of a box.
love ya,
mimi

Miranda said...

Beans are fun!! Shaylees Preschool has a bean tray and all the kids love raking through them, and scooping them up. I've never done it at home either.

Jessica said...

What a great cheap idea! I'll have to remember that for in a couple of years for Joey!

Tracey said...

Beans are definitely cool. I will eventually do it, too, but I also want to wait till the whole choking/sticking things up your nose phase is past!

K.T. said...

oh that was adorable!Kendall loves beans and rice too!therapists love mashed potatoes too-and so do kids but that one is a lot messier... lol!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

THat's great! I'm afraid the boys would start throwing them at each other. They had a "bean" table at our mom and tot class, but now it's a "sand" table. What were they thinking? As always, she's adorable!!

Tammy said...

what a fun activity for her!!!!
:-D
PS...would you please resend me an email...I'm trying to rebuild my address book...
kentucky_gal45@yahoo.com
Thanks ever so much!!

Mrs. Mac said...

using the rice and beans sure help with emerging pouring skills too! What a fun thing to play with!

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Score with an hour of play! She looked like she was having a blast. I have done this is the past with Eve and she loved it also. I just had to put it on hold for a while with Judah being too young. I love it when you post pictures!

-Andrea

donna fleisher said...

Ahh, yes, I used to love sitting on Mum-mum's (my grandmother) kitchen floor with all her pots and pans and my own stash of beans. I loved it when my brother would bring over his Tonka dump truck to help haul. Mum-mum also had a bazillion marbles that we loved to play with. : )

Fun stuff! (Love her wink.)

Natthaniel said...

When did Kayla learn how to say "yeah"? When are you coming to visit us so I can play with the beans with Kayla?

from Nate

Nisa said...

What a cute video! I loved it. Nate loved it too and decided his comment needed to go first. Kayla looks so "grown" to me in this video and her voice is so cute. Give her some hugs from us.
love you

PEA said...

She sure looked like she was loving it! lol That's something I never thought of when my boys were little...it's a great idea! Watch out when I have grandchildren...I'll have all kinds of neat ideas, thanks to you! lol xox

S. said...

Thanks for the reminder! And I just love her winking--that is adorable!

Jeff and Michelle said...

I'm one of those therapists that brings the bean/rice box's! Aren't they great? That and bubbles are the best! Hours of entertainment with each. Playing with the beans/rice/tubs are very nice sensory activities for kids! I also love making homemade play-doh with my daughter, and then giving her lots of cookie cutters to play with.

Michelle

A Special Family said...

lol I eat those beans!!!

But, what a superb way to spend an hour!

Tammy said...

I love this! :D (and her wink is so adorable!)

I have never had the idea of doing this with either of my girls, either...my youngest may still be just young enough to still enjoy it so I think I'll be buying some beans this week! :)

I agree...we had a huge box leftover from Christmas and the girls spent as much time playing with it as a clubhouse than they did with their new toys!

Rebecca said...

What a wonderful activity. Miss E isn't quite at this stage yet, as she attempts to eat rice and beans right out of the pantry uncooked.

We will have to keep this in mind for the future.

Jenny said...

She is so dang adorable!

I'm totally going to have to try this out with Hailey.

Overwhelmed! said...

What a great idea! I'll have to try this with Snuggle Bug.

One thing that he LOVES to play with is a bucket of water. When it's nice outside, I fill up a big bucket of water, give him some cups for scooping and dumping and just resign myself that he'll get wet and muddy in the process. He loves playing in water outdoors. :)

You know, we have so many toys that Snuggle Bug just doesn't play with that I think I'm going to try to do a garage sale and then donate what I don't sell. It's time to purge!

Stephanie said...

Awww that is way too adorable!! It's so funny what they love to play with instead of their expensive toys, too darn cute!

Pamela said...

What a great idea! I do remember my kids liking an empty box better than the actual gift when they were little! lol I will have to try making this for Ben, I love the way you put down the table cloth to make clean up so much easier! :)

grace said...

wow! Kayla in action...she's adorable.

Kelly said...

Great idea and great video! Time to invest in some beans!

annie said...

Izzy's therapist brought the box of beans too, and I made our own box of beans. The kids get that box out from time to time and there are beans everywhere... even my 13 year old likes playing in them... weird huH?
Hope your day is blessed,
Annie

Beck said...

That's SO much fun! I have to be careful with my kids, because I'm on my second in a row who likes to stick things up her nose. :(
I like Kayla's winking! She's so funny!

andria said...

We have those cars, both boys have loved them immensely.

Anyway, get a rubbermaid tub, pour a few bags of washed beans into it and dig it out every few days, like when you want a long shower or want to clean. I think I will do that as well, although I agree with the beans up nose thing. My sister shoved like ten up hers when she was four. Fun trip to the ER that was.

My sister and I took our kids to a childrens museum last summer and they had a HUGE rice table. We paid five bucks a head to get in and everyone played with the rice. I kept thinking, we could have done this at home for much cheaper.

Beanie McBeaner said...

Beans are great fun to play with and when you're done, you can sing the bean song! Don't know the bean song? For shame! Here are the lyrics: (Sing with gusto) "Beans, beans the musical fruit! The more you eat the more you toot. The more you toot the better you feel. So have some beans for your next meal!"

Marie said...

I'm gonna try beans again! You've inspired me. It's been a while and Jack might like it better now.