Bean bag toss is a popular outdoor summer game. Besides the traditional adult bean bag toss, explore some of these games and activities you can play outdoors or indoors with your young children this summer. You can even make your own bean bags in any shape, size and color.
- Cut two pieces of fabric in the shape and size you want to form the bean bag. The standard bean bag size is 4” x 4”.
- Pin the two pieces of fabric together, with right sides together. Stitch three sides of the fabric using either a sewing machine or a needle and thread. Create a 1/4-inch seam, with stitches approximately 1/4-inch away from the edge of the fabric. Sew the fourth side of the fabric leaving a hole approximately an inch wide in which to deposit the beans. Turn the bean bag right side out.
- Place the tip of a funnel into the opening. Pour the beans in through the top of the funnel. A variety of beans will work, including lima beans and black-eyed peas. You can also use dried corn kernels, popcorn kernels or rice. For heavier bean bags, use more beans. For bean bags that are lighter and easier to throw, add fewer beans.
- Sew the hole closed using your needle and thread or sewing machine.
Have some fun with these exciting and sometimes challenging bean bag activities!
TOSS A BEAN BAG TO YOURSELF – Toss a bean bag up and down to work on catching, throwing and body control. Let children compete with themselves to see how many times in a row they can catch it or how high they can throw it and catch it. It is great for them to set goals and then try to break their own record.
BEAN BAG RELAY – Have the kids balance a bean bag on a body part (head, forearm, foot, back of hand, shoulder, chest, etc.) and race to the finish line.
STRAWBERRY STRAWBERRY RHYME – Sit in a circle and pass a bean bag to this rhyme: Strawberry Strawberry in a dish. How many Strawberries do you wish? Whoever the bean bag lands on gets to say how many strawberries, and then you keep passing that many times. Then start the rhyme over again. (If you have a large group, the kids that the strawberry lands on get out and can go to the center of the circle until someone wins, or they sit down).
BEAN BAG BASKETBALL – Throw the bean bags into a basket. See how many they can get, and try to get more each round.
HIDE AND SEEK – Hide a bean bag and have the kids find it.
UNFREEZE A FRIEND – Every player places a bean bag on top of their head and then must move around the play space keeping the bag balanced. If the bag falls, the player must let it drop to the ground and freeze. Other players may help frozen players by picking the bean bag up off the ground and handing it to the frozen player to put back on their head and move again. Preschoolers – allow them to pick up their own bags in order to return to the game or allow unfrozen players to pick up the frozen player’s bean bags while holding onto their own.
HOT POTATO – While everyone is sitting in a circle, pass a bean bag around and play a short song. When the song ends, the player with the bean bag sits in the middle of the circle, or leaves the circle. Keep playing until there is a winner.
BEAN BAG TOSS – Two children can also practice tossing the bean bag back and forth to each other.
BEAN BAG RELAY – Kids sit in a row. The child in front grabs a bean bag and passes it overhead to the child behind and so on, until the last child pops it in the bucket, and then runs to the front to repeat the bean bag relay. You can also have the kids pass under their legs, or alternate passing under and over (harder).
BEAN BAG ENDURANCE – Put a pile of bean bags at one side of the yard and a bucket at the other, and have your child hop, run, jump, crawl or skip to take the bean bag to the bucket – your child can either hold the bean bag, balance it on their head, balance it on an outstretched arm, or even on a spoon!
Author: Vicki Starks, Fayette County F2ECE Associate