Seven Links to Bean Bag Games and Activities
How long has it been since you’ve played with bean bags?
Let me point you to some indoor and outdoor bean bag games you can play this summer.
While I’m at it, I’m going to talk about a great website I found while researching for this post, and encourage you to think outside of the box in terms of who can and should make use of these colorful movement props.
Summer’s not coming, it’s here!
Join me in discovering ways to make use of this versatile and tactile movement prop for fun!
Doesn't Everyone Love Bean Bags?
Honestly, I love just tossing a bean bag back and forth between my hands or pretending I can juggle with them (nobody gets hurt and no fruit gets bruised when I toss bean bags around instead of apples). I love the way the bean bags feel, I have always been very tactile and bean bags just feel good to me. If you watch kids playing with and handling them, you can see that I’m not the only who feels this way (yes, pun intended).
Last month I purchased a set of Bear Paw Creek bean bags and took them down to the church; it came in a handy drawstring bag (which I love). When I gave it to the kids in the Sunday School class, you would have thought it was Christmas. Big smiles all around!
Our kids have a great Sunday School teacher who has cut a hole in a box, letting the kids use it as a bean bag target (or paper airplane target).The problem was, they only had two bean bags and they were getting pretty sad looking.
The drawstring bag filled with colorful brand spanking new bean bags was a hit. I had to make them promise to leave them on the shelf until their teacher gave them the green light to break them out! It was with regrets that I left those there, now I’m thinking I need to buy another set for myself (and maybe let my kids play with them too).
A dozen bean bags and that simple box with a hole gives the kids something to look forward to after sitting still for their lesson.
It also keeps the class from becoming a free-for-all while they are waiting for their parents after church. It’s a small room and a small class, but surely you know how crazy a few bored kids in a small classroom can get, I don’t need to tell you right?
So the bean bags and box target game, let’s them move, play and have fun without descending into chaos.
Taking the Dread Out of Recess and Summertime and Inserting the Fun!
As I was doing research for bean bag games and activities I came across this site, which fascinated me. It fascinated me because I thought, “Of course!” I love it when someone comes up with a beautiful solution to a problem which is doable and make so much sense. Recess gives kids vital time for getting out, enjoying sunshine and being able to move, but it can also be chaotic and an oportunity for bullying and trouble.
Playworks was developed to help educators take the dread out of recess and make it a time of fun and learning for the kids. I love this quote from their about page:
Recess should be fun and energetic and safe and inclusive for everyone. Isn’t that what we want for all kids in elementary school today? When recess becomes a healthy, integral part of the school day, kids carry that positive experience with them beyond the playground.
One of the ways that they accomplish this is through planning games and activities with a purpose in mind. Later I’ll be sharing their list of six games using bean bags (The second on their list is my favorite because of how it encourages empathy and teamwork.) Since summer is a three month recess of sorts, I thought it would be good to look at their tips. Also, I know you teachers are already keeping your eye out, looking for ideas for the coming school year.
Your links to fun activities with bean bags (not just for kids).
Before I share the links for these games, I want to encourage people to think beyond kids for these bean bag activities.
I recently read this article Exercise Programs: An Important Therapeutic Tool, from Nursinghome.org by The Illinois Council on Long Term Care’s website. They emphasize that lack of exercise by the elderly in nursing homes is increasing their fragility. They call for regular exercise programs to help them keep their strength, balance, flexibility and mental acuity. Many who are involved in elder care seek fun ways to encourage their clients to move and be active. Bean bags are able to be tossed from a standing or sitting position (for those in wheelchairs), feel good in the hand, and can be used in a variety of setting. Consider any of the games listed here and determine how they might be used with grandparents or in an elder care setting such as a nursing home.
So, here are seven links to activities and games to do with bean bags:
- Bean bag fun for children through adults on Pinterest, from my Pinterest Board.
- Six Games to Play with Bean Bags, from Playworks Blog.
- Bear Paw Creek’s Youtube video of a playful song to get you moving with your bean bag.
- Bear Paw Creek’s Pinterest Collection of Bean Bag Games.
- Ten Bean Bag Games to Play from Meaningful Mama.
- Here’s a great PDF with bean bag activities.
- This last link is for Bean Bag Baseball from the website of an elder care facility.
Don’t have any bean bags? No problem, do what I did and order them from Bear Paw Creek. I think I may even need to order another set to have here at home (maybe I’ll get the textured set). One thing I love about Bear Paw Creeks sets is they are machine washable, so you can use them inside or outside. How do you use bean bags? Do you use them at home, at school, at church? Or maybe you have used them in for adults in an elder care facility. If so, we would love to hear from you and have your favorite bean bag activities in the links! Thanks, and enjoy your summer!