Ultimate Guide To Bean Bag Activities and Games

Your Ultimate Guide To Bean Bag Activities And Games

Beanbags are a must-have in every equipment room or storage closet! They’re easy to store and can be used for tossing, a myriad of movement activities, and a collection of learning and developmental games. I am sharing bean bag activities that can be used across the curriculum, at home, or in any therapy or learning environment.

Beanbags can help your child with motor development. As you implement beanbags you can expect to notice improvements in the following areas:

  • Hand-eye Coordination (good for handwriting skills)
  • Visual-Motor Skills (Tracking for reading and writing)
  • Attention and Focus (sitting still at the child’s desk, less fidgeting, listening to the teacher)
  • Gross Motor Skills (posture, copying notes from the chalkboard)
  • Fine Motor Development (improves directionality of letters and numbers, pencil grip)
  • Executive Functioning Skills (organization, retention, problem-solving, critical thinking)
  • Motor Planning (processing, coordination, handwriting, forming words)

So just because the activity is grouped in the motor skills section doesn’t mean it has no value in other developmental areas. Quite the opposite! But I have grouped them as best I can to organize them for your convenience in choosing activities!

girl throwing bean bags in the air as part of a beanbag game on the ultimate guide to bean bag activities and games

Bean bag activities create learning experiences through fun

When I was a child we had a bean bag frog (way before the era of beanie toys) We loved our Froggie and played with him all the time! From a diverting game of hot potato, to throwing him at a target, to using him as an action toy. I had NO idea at the time that by playing with him in all these ways my brother and I were learning so many important skills!

Bean Bag Activities To Use For Every Developmental Area

Bean Bag Activities For Motor Skills

  • Bean bag balance: Balance a beanbag on your head while
    • walking
    • doing scissor steps
    • stepping heel to toe
    • on tip-toe
    • walking on a rope or duct tape laid in a straight line
    • taking giant steps
    • walking around various obstacles
  • Bean Bag Toss: toss a bean bag in the air
    • to yourself
    • to a friend
      • start close together and take a step back each turn
    • add a clap while the bean bag is mid-air
      • see how many claps you can add
    • catch with one hand
    • use small buckets, pots, or large plastic glasses to catch with
  • Hanging Bean Bag Toss: Suspend the beanbag from a tree branch, or doorway with a rope in a netted bag. The child can then toss the beanbag away from them and catch it when it rebounds! (source)
  • Bean Bag Relay:
    • Have children stand in a line front to back. The first child hands a beanbag, overhead,  to the person behind them, repeat until you get to the last child. The last child tosses the beanbag into the bucket and runs to the front of the line to repeat.
    • child, or children, stand behind a line and run beanbags across the yard and throw them in a bucket, then run back to the starting line while another child takes off to do the same until all the beanbags are in the bucket. variations include, but are not limited to:
      • hop with the beanbag
      • crawl with the beanbag
      • carry the beanbag in a spoon
      • scoot the beanbag with their nose
      • hop on one leg with the beanbag balanced on the other foot (with a much shorter distance)
      • skip with the beanbag
      • race to the finish line while balancing the beanbag on various body parts. They can balance on their head, arm, back, or back of their hand
  • Hitting A Target: Throw a bean bag at a target. Center the target in front of the child or for an added twist, Place the target to the front and side so they have to cross their imaginary mid-line in order to hit it. If the child is right-handed the target will be off-center to the left. Target ideas include:
    • a bucket
    • a line on the floor
    • a hula hoop
    • an X or circle taped to the wall
    • a bullseye marked on a box propped up against a wall or chair
    • cornhole board
    • laundry basket
  • Bean Bag Pass: sit in a circle and pass the beanbag around. Variations include, but are not limited to:
    • hot potato, or bag in this case. Pass it to music, when the music stops, the child holding the bag is out. For large groups, the player who is left holding the bag moves to the center of the circle, when the center can no longer hold any more players, the game is over! Another variation would be for the player holding the bag when the music stops to get a point. The player with the fewest points at the end wins.
  • Duck, Duck, Goose! When the child chooses a “goose” they put a beanbag on their head 🙂
  • Unfreeze A Friend: Every player places a bean bag onto their head 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 them to the frozen player to put back on their heads and move again.
  • Shuffleboard: indoor, or out. Draw with chalk for outdoors, or using tape for indoors, 4 lines on the ground/floor. Take turns sliding bean bags as far beyond the first three lines — without sliding the bags beyond the fourth line. After sliding three bags each, tally points. One point per bag past the first line, two past the second line and three past the third line.
  • Bean Bag Frenzy: for large groups. Place hula hoops around a large room or gym with beanbags in them. It helps if they can be color-coordinated, but you could label for teams. Players transfer the beanbags to the other hoops by balancing, hopping, skipping, or running them to the other hoops! (source)
  • Crossing the Midline activities with beanbags

Even more great links to activities with beanbags!

 

Bean Bag Activities For Learning Concepts

 

  • Tic-Tac-Toe: You will need two different colors of beanbags, 5 of each color. Use colored tape to layout a tic-tac-toe board on the floor. Take turns with two different colored bean bags, placing them into each square, trying to get three in a row. For an added challenge, create a tossing line a few steps back from the tic tac toe field and require players to toss their bean bags in each square.
  • Hide The Bean Bag: Players take turns hiding the beanbag(s) and the others find them (think Easter egg hunt, or hide and go seek)
  • Bean Bag Ring Toss: Use pool type diving rings, colorful plastic plates, yoga dots, or frisbees as targets to throw matching colored bean bags onto.
  • Recite Verses: Here are some ideas to get you started on verses to recite while passing or tossing beanbags as a learning aid. great for
    • Circle time
    • memory work
    • counting
    • letters
    • transitioning from one activity to the next and
    • solidifying routines
  • Counting: count each beanbag as it gets tossed into a bucket
  • Color Change! place all of the beanbags in the middle of a circle of children. One child picks up a beanbag and names the color. The children pass the beanbag around the circle while a snippet of music plays, when the music shuts off, the child holding the beanbag puts it back and chooses another, announcing it’s color. Repeat.
  • Hot Seat: Play as if you were playing the classic “hot potato” game. When the music stops, instead of being ‘out’, the child with the beanbag answers a question. What month is it? Name the days of the week. What is 2+2? Read the sight word. Up to infinity!
  • Lots of learning and transitioning ideas Here.
  • Adding and Subtracting: Use beanbags as manipulatives for basic math concepts.
  • Number matching: Write numbers 1-5 (or higher) on cards, or sheets of paper. One number per card. Have the child place the corresponding number of beanbags under each number.
  • Teaching Directional words: here is a fun song for teaching directional words
  • Bean Bag Song
  • More ideas on Teaching with Beanbags!

 

Using Bean Bags For Music Therapy, Tactile Stimulation, Sensory Regulation And Senior Activity

 

many people need that strong sensory input so their bodies can communicate with their brains more effectively.

  • This song/game  for tactile stimulation, sensory regulation, following one-step directions, and turn-taking skill using our textured bean bags
  • Tactile Matching Game: Start by laying out one beanbag of each texture, then the child feels inside a bag containing the remaining beanbags for a matching texture for each. Alternatively, present the child with one textured bag at a time for them to find that texture.
  • Beanbag Baseball: A fun game to keep seniors active.

 

 

Even More Bean Bag Ideas

For even more ideas to use beanbags for play and learning get our free Bean Bags, Bean Bags Galore!

Pin this for later!

Joy is a mom of 6 (ages 5-26) who has a passion for encouraging moms! With three already grown up, married and having families of their own, three still at home, 2 kids with Down syndrome, and having been through a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in a teen she has definately been through some ups and downs. However, she believes that each mom is divinely appointed and equipped to raise her particular kid(s) better than anyone else in the world no matter how it may feel on any particular day! She wants to inspire Your Mom heart as well as making the more practical aspects of running a household a tad easier over at JoyonthisMomJourney.com

7 Indoor Activities For Fun On Winter Days

Fun Indoor Activities That Will Make You A Hero One Day This Winter!

Keep these fun indoor activities on hand for those times this winter when you find yourself stuck in the house for an extended period of time with a little less room than you wish you had, a little more noise than you can stand, and maybe even a little less patience than you need!

 

girl with bean bags deicting fun activities for for winter days

When it’s too cold to be outside

When the wind is howling and the ice is raining down and there is no chance for fun games outside you will need some quick diversions! I put together this list of fun indoor activities to keep everyone moving, mind as well as body, and to help strengthen family ties when you might otherwise be making less than sweet memories.

My kids love to play in the snow. Actually, I do too! One particular winter, though. The snow came, but it was so cold out there we couldn’t enjoy it at all. We were freezing after just a few minutes. We only ventured out for dire necessities! The kids ended up watching way to much Television. You know how that goes, what was extremely entertaining for a few hours becomes the source of squabbles and before you know it the screen zombies are out in full force haggling over anything and everything! Something has to give in these times and a good list of indoor games will make you a hero!

7Fun Activities when stuck indoors

Plastic Cup Building

Hand the kids several sets of plastic cups and let them build to their heart’s content! Towers, forts, pyramids, you name it. Go freestyle or have an engineering contest, it’s up to you.

Sensory play bins

Plastic tubs holding various dry materials, add scoops, spoons, and tiny utensils and you have an afternoon of fun. Another fun add-on is small toys for even more pretend play and communication skills opportunities. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination on this one.

Some good materials are Dry macaroni, dry beans or peas of all shapes and sizes, peat moss, coconut coir, and salt, to name a few.

Bean bag color shoot

Place different colors of construction paper on the ground. Either in a line with the child standing behind it or in a circle with the child standing in the middle of it. The child holds bean bags in corresponding colors. The object is for the child to throw each beanbag onto its corresponding color.

Play band, or parade

The only way to make this game better is to first make your own homemade instruments! My kids used to spend hours making their own instruments, then march and play with them all afternoon! This post has some great ideas for making your own simple and fun instruments.

Read a book

Or 2 or 3. Spend the afternoon with a great read-aloud. Set up a picnic in the living room and settle in for the long- haul! My favorite winter activity by far.

Play board games

This is such a great activity to build community. There is always peals of laughter at some point. In our family, ALL the kids love the thrill of beating mom!

Dance Party!

Turn on some music. Pull out some movement props like scarves, jingle bells, or streamers and let the creative times roll!

Or play Beanbag freeze! Turn on the music and everyone dances, tossing beanbags about as they go. Turn off the music and everyone must freeze! I’m sure this would insight some real drama in any age group! (source: MeaningfulMama)

Balloon ball games

Our Balloon balls are just the thing for inside! They have the airy lightness of a balloon, with a little kick provided by the texture of the material covering. They keep ball games safe for indoors!

  • Keep away
  • Catch
  • Categories, saying the name when you hit the balloon
  • Basketball into a basket or tub for a new twist
  • Dodgeball

and more…

 

Beanbag games

Meaningful Mama has a whole post with great bean bag ideas! You will find everything from balancing games, tossing games, endurance games, relays, to obstacle activities and more there. Take a look at all her bean bag ideas here.

 

Winning with fun indoor activities

Print this off, get any props, pieces, or ingredients you might not have on hand, and tuck it away for that inevitable house-bound day when you need something special!

Your kids will love it, and who knows, you might all end the day wishing you’ll be stuck inside again soon!

Save it to Pinterest for extra precaution 😉

Joy is a mom of 6 (ages 5-26) who has a passion for encouraging moms! With three already grown up, married and having families of their own, three still at home, 2 kids with Down syndrome, and having been through a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in a teen she has definately been through some ups and downs. However, she believes that each mom is divinely appointed and equipped to raise her particular kid(s) better than anyone else in the world no matter how it may feel on any particular day! She wants to inspire Your Mom heart as well as making the more practical aspects of running a household a tad easier over at JoyonthisMomJourney.com

17 Ways to Create Opportunities for Indoor Movement Activities This Winter

Indoor Movement Activities to chill out the winter blahs!

 

 

When the kids are climbing the walls because they have been cooped up inside for too long what are ya going to do?

I am going to give you so many ideas for indoor movement activities that the kids won’t have a chance to even think about being bored!… and then they will be able to think. period.

We all know that dreaded phrase, “I’m boooored!”

It’s actually banned at our house I hate to hear it so much! But that doesn’t mean my kids don’t go stir-crazy when the winter weather takes over! Even as an adult, I’m prone to cabin fever sometimes.

When the weather begins to turn grey outside something in our heads begins to become dull as well! Physical exercise: moving our bodies is the  best cure for this dullness!

With old man winter approaching, you need some engaging indoor activities for kids in your arsenal and at the ready! Therefore, I went on a quest to find some amazing games and ideas to engage motor skills and imagination in indoor spaces to keep those kids occupied and the indoor decor safe at the same time 🙂

ways to create opportunities for indoor movement activities

Why Fun Indoor Movement Activities are Important for Intellect and Behavior

 

Did you know that physical activity can boost brain power, improve mood, enhance concentration and increase decision-making skills? (source )

Furthermore, The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. (source)

Studies show that even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. Did you get that? Being on the move for just 20 minutes at a time will help us (and our kids) concentrate better Immediately! Wow!

Dr. John Ratey, via Forbes, says that exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterward. So frequent breaks for movement are immediately beneficial for concentration! Great news for teachers and moms alike!

Indoor movement activities will make kids smarter! Being active will increase their ability to focus and concentrate, making your job easier!

So whether you are a mom stuck inside with multiple children during a snowstorm, or a teacher with a classroom full of children that you need to get to concentrate, these activities are your ticket to peace and success!

17 Fun Indoor Activities and Games to keep them focused and calm all day long!

Bring on the games! Some of the activities can be used to strengthen concepts or academic skills, all reinforce motor skills with movement. And all will create an atmosphere of fun and comradery.

Have a quick snowball fight! When your woes are caused having ice outside instead of snow this is a great solution!

# 1 Traditional snowball fight with 2 teams, forts, and fun

#2 Dodgeball version, which is much easier in small spaces with the same amount of fun

#3 Make 2 rows of kids facing each other with several buckets in front of each row. Each team frantically tries to get all of their snowballs into the buckets in front of the other team!

#4 Have a Snowball Freeze!

#5 Check out these snow-themed activities

Studies show that exercising even briefly facilitates information processing and memory functions… when we MOVE our brains work better IMMEDIATELY!

Indoor Activities with Scarves

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Scarves are just plain fun! You can acquire them from grandmothers, thrift stores, garage sales, or from Bear Paw Creek with ease for hours of creative movement fun!

#6 Turn on some dance tunes and hand the kids some scarves -they’ll know what to do!

#7 Have a Dancing Scarf Blues party

#8 Creative Movement Activities and Songs with Scarves

#9 Pass the hanky

#10 Try These Beat Passing Games

#11 Drop the hanky or scarf in our case. You can find directions here

Bean Bags: The Classic Indoor Activity for the Win!

Bean Bags are so open-ended the possibilities are really endless! Here are just a few ideas to get you started 🙂

#12 Play hopscotch with them! Create a board with painter’s tape and use the beanbags for playing pieces

#13 Play Tic-Tac-Toe with them on a giant grid on the floor (use painter’s tape again)

#14 Play “Hot Potatoe” with beanbags. Pass the beanbag to music. Whoever has it when the music stops is out.

#15 Bean Bag Hunt: One person hides the beanbags while the others hide their eyes. Then everyone dashes to find all the beanbags!

#16 Basketball with a change-up: use beanbags to toss and a laundry basket or sand bucket for the goal!

#17 Bean Bag races: create a start line and a finish line, the players push the beanbag across the path with their foreheads!

Just Get Moving!

There you have it! 17 Amazing ideas to get those minds and bodies moving in a productive way. Whether you take one fun idea each day or use all 17 ideas in a marathon activity-based day is completely up to you!  3 great movement props at your disposal for easy fun, what will you do first?

Don’t keep the good stuff to yourself! Be sure to share this list with someone else who you know could benefit!

 

Pin This for when your ready to plan neat stuff 🙂

Joy is a mom of 6 (ages 5-26) who has a passion for encouraging moms! With three already grown up, married and having families of their own, three still at home, 2 kids with Down syndrome, and having been through a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in a teen she has definately been through some ups and downs. However, she believes that each mom is divinely appointed and equipped to raise her particular kid(s) better than anyone else in the world no matter how it may feel on any particular day! She wants to inspire Your Mom heart as well as making the more practical aspects of running a household a tad easier over at JoyonthisMomJourney.com

Ideas For Successful Circle Time At Home

Why You Want To Make Circle Time A Regular Part Of Your Day

Circle time is a memory maker! It uses games, songs, and activities to teach concepts that need a lot of reinforcement in a warm, friendly atmosphere! Circle time utilizes closeness, laughter and fun to teach. This makes beautiful memories and adds sparkle to your day, and in turn strengthens the learning going on! I can’t think of a better way to learn!

Silver stars in background with blue circle and transparent dark blue box that identifies the article by it's title ​Main IMage

Circle Time Puts Sparkle In Your Day 

Janet, owner at Bear Paw Creek has fond memories of her  childhood library’s programs that included storytime. Later, because of those memories she made circle time an intregal part of her little home daycare when her son was small. And now she spends her days creating props that give inspiration to circle times of all kinds everywhere! 

You do not have to be a professional, have a large group of children, or even be overflowing with creativity to create memories and learning with circle time! With a simple structure and a few activities you will be all set for success.

 

Circle time uses games, songs, and activities to teach concepts that need a lot of reinforcement in a warm, friendly atmosphere!

You Can Easily Create Circle Time At Home In A Few Easy Steps

It is simple and fun and you can do it easily with Janets tips, guidelines and ideas for songs and activities! Janet has written an article that is sure to inspire and get you started over at With The Huddlestons as a part of their Learning In The Early Years Series. Just click on over to read her post Circle Time At Home to start your own learning traditions!

Visit our Shop for even more circle time inspiration from our movement props! My favorite is the scarves 🙂

Joy is a mom of 6 (ages 5-26) who has a passion for encouraging moms! With three already grown up, married and having families of their own, three still at home, 2 kids with Down syndrome, and having been through a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in a teen she has definately been through some ups and downs. However, she believes that each mom is divinely appointed and equipped to raise her particular kid(s) better than anyone else in the world no matter how it may feel on any particular day! She wants to inspire Your Mom heart as well as making the more practical aspects of running a household a tad easier over at JoyonthisMomJourney.com

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