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Get Physical With Bean Bag Preschool Games and Activities

By Tania Cowling

Bean bags are toy props that open a world of new games and experiences for preschool children. Use bean bags for games in physical activities that help build muscles and aid in balance and coordination skills.

How to Make a Bean Bag

A bean bag is a special toy that can be tossed like a ball, but won't bounce away. It is heavy enough to make it easy to throw and catch. And it feels great to hold! Whether store-bought or homemade, bean bags used in games are fun and provide physical activity.

Materials:

  • Fabric or felt
  • Scissors (Adult Use Only)IMG 1169 
  • Plastic zipper lock bag (sandwich size)
  • Dry beans, sand, gravel, rice, etc.
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Procedure:

  1. Select fabric in various colors, patterns, and/or textures.
  2. Cut the fabric into squares (you will need two squares per bean bag).
  3. Sew the sides together on three sides.
  4. Fill the plastic zipper bag with your choice of filling material (this keeps the filling inside without falling out through holes).
  5. Stuff the plastic bag inside the fabric square.
  6. Close the open end by stitching securely.

For a variation: make bean bags from old socks. Cut the sock to size, add the filling and sew the open end shut. This makes a quick and easy bean bag.

Bean Bag Shape Toss

Your class will enjoy tossing bean bags at this easy target and also learn to identify shapes and develop eye/hand coordination while having fun.

Materials:

  • Large cardboard box
  • Craft knife (Adult Use Only)
  • Bean bags
  • Markers, crayons

Procedure:

  1. Draw outlines of the following geometric shapes on the top of a large cardboard box: square, circle, triangle and rectangle.
  2. An adult cuts out each shape with a craft knife.
  3. Place the box so that children can aim and throw bean bags through the cutout shapes.
  4. Ask the children to name the shape they are aiming for.
  5. After the children have mastered this throwing practice, challenge them to move further back and try again.

Funny Face Toss

Have the children create silly creatures and play a game of bean bag toss together!

Materials:

  • Paper plates (the paper kind)
  • Crayons and markers
  • Yarn
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Hole punch
  • Bean bags

Procedure:

  1. Invite the children to draw a silly face on the paper plate. Let them decorate it as they wish.
  2. If you have a large class, staple two plates together to have a front and back.
  3. Punch a hole at the top of the plate and knot a length of yarn inside the hole. Tie the other end to a tree branch outside or to a door opening indoors. Make sure the area is clear so nothing can be broken during the toss.
  4. Mark a throwing line and have the children stand behind the line.
  5. Invite them to toss the bean bags trying to hit the silly faces.
  6. Challenge the children to a tougher toss as you move the starting line further back.
  7. In order to view all silly faces, move the children to the other side and play the game again.

Quick Physical Activities with Bean Bags

Bean Bags Galore

Scatter a bunch of bean bags around a playing area. Choose one child to go first. Have this child pick up as many bean bags as possible in 10 seconds. Have the children count slowly to 10 and time is up. Scatter the beans bags around again and choose the next child to play.

Ring the Bell

Hang a cowbell from a low tree branch with heavy cord. Mark a start line and invite the children to toss the bean bags to ring the bell.

Bean Bag Brigade

Have the children sit in a circle. Pass one bean bag from child to child. Add another and another. Keep passing them around and around.

Get physical and moving with the children while using bean bags for games in your preschool class. Can you imagine having so much fun with a little square toy?

Source: personal experience

Photo by Tania Cowling, all rights reserved