September 1, 2011 | in Nanny
The bean bag is a fixture of kindergarten classrooms everywhere, mostly because of it’s versatility. Dozens of popular games feature the bean bag in a starring role, most of which are fun for kids of all ages. If you have some bean bags and a bored brood on your hands, here are some of the games you can play.
- Cornhole – Though it goes by many names, cornhole is a perennial favorite of kids and adults. You can find these slanted boards and bean bags in classrooms and barrooms alike; there are even adult-level tournaments.
- Hot Potato – This group staple has simple rules but can become challenging when a sense of urgency takes over. One of the perks of Hot Potato is that it can accommodate groups of almost any size; more than three participants, and you’re ready to go.
- Bean Bag Bowling – Bowling isn’t always an ideal game for the living room, but this adaptation can protect your belongings and provide a great rainy-day distraction. Lightweight “pins” made from milk cartons aren’t likely to cause damage.
- Catch – A game of catch can be a favorite for kids, but throwing a baseball in the house is typically not Mom’s idea of fun. The soft texture of a bean bag will keep windows or lamps from being broken, and won’t cause injury if younger kids are accidentally hit.
- Hacky Sack – This fixture of college campuses is also great for development of coordination and balance. Though it can be frustrating for the smaller set, older kids are sure to get hours of enjoyment from this classic game.
- Relay Race – Using a bean bag in place of the traditional baton is a great use for bean bags you have around the house. Alternatively, you can add a challenging element to a foot-race by instituting a rule that each participant has to keep a bean bag clasped between their knees. Dropping the bean bag equals disqualification; the first person to the finish line with their bag in place is the winner.
- Rhyming Games – Spice up chants and rhyming songs by introducing a bean bag. Tossing the bag from player to player in rhythm with the song can keep kids interested while improving coordination and multi-tasking skills.
- Balancing Games – Much like old-fashioned charm schools used heavy books balanced on a young lady’s head to improve posture, teaching younger children to balance a bean bag on their head while walking or even completing a simple obstacle course can be challenging and posture-improving fun!
- Tic Tac Toe – Marking a tic tac toe board on the sidewalk with chalk or the living room floor with masking tape and using bean bags for markers is a great way to keep kids entertained and improve coordination. Modify the distance from the “board” to suit your child’s level of development.
- Free Play – Kids have the ability to turn a cardboard box into a race car or rocket-ship. Simply giving them a set of bean bags and encouraging them to come up with a game is a great way to boost creativity. You may be surprised at what they come up with!
In addition to all of the many games that you and your children can play with bean bags, they can also present the opportunity for arts and crafts fun. Personalize your child’s bean bags by making them from fabric in varying shades of their favorite colors, then allow them to decorate them with fabric markers or paint. The options are endless!
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