We’re under a cold weather warning where I live so that means figuring out indoor games and activities to keep the kids moving and happy until we can get back outside.
This week, while I am doing the finishing touches on the kids’ exercise room, we had some fun with these 7 indoor bean bag games.
During my recent striving for minimalism purge, I destashed all of my fabric. I posted on Facebook offering giant bags of fabric in exchange for one or two sewing projects. It ended up being a great trade and something I’ll likely consider again during our continuing purge.
My friend who had first pick worked out a few projects with me, one of which was a set of bean bags made from scraps of fabric and old shirts!
I had bought a giant bag of black beans, expecting her to fill them to the brim like the bean bags I had previously used. However, when I went to pick them up, they each had maybe 1/4 cup of beans inside of them.
This turned out to be a genius idea, as it gives the bean bags just enough weight to carry out all of the games, but not enough weight to hurt someone or damage furniture if thrown in a moment of excitement.
Bean Bag “Ring Toss” (with plates!)
During our “mmm is for muffin” mini-unit we used hula hoops to practice aiming with the bean bags, but inside we opted for Ikea plastic plates. I picked out matching plates to our bean bag colours and encouraged the children to initially try to throw the bean bags onto the same coloured plates.
After doing that for a bit, we mixed it up and tried calling out different combinations, like: “Yellow beanbag to purple plate!”
Toss to a Friend
Because these homemade bean bags are so light, I wasn’t worried about the preschoolers or toddlers accidentally getting hurt in a gentle game of catch. This was a fun, interactive way to the practice hand-eye coordination and co-operation.
Cross the Midline Relay
Crossing the midline (reaching one limb across the body to the opposite side) is an important gross motor skill that helps with brain elasticity and engaging different parts of the brain at the same time, so we did this fun twist on a passing game.
The children sat criss-cross applesauce in a circle and wrapped one arm across their bellies and used their other arm to receive and pass the bean bag from one friend to the other. This was more challenging than it might seem, and once the children seemed to have a good handle on the process, I made things a little more interesting by calling out “switch directions” and “switch arms.”
After playing our cross the midline game, we loosened up a bit by tossing gently from friend to friend as the Wiggles’ “Hot Potato” played in the background. I paused the song at intervals and whoever had the potato had to run around the circle and sit back down in their spot. (You could play the alternate version where someone is “out” if they have the potato when the song goes off, but my preschoolers would not have appreciated that version.)
We have this awesome hopscotch rug for our new kids’ exercise room, and using the bean bags in place of the rocks was great and gave us a fun twist on practicing skip counting, literally.
Hide the Beanbag
The kids took turns hiding the bean bag around the main floor, and then searching for it.
You can encourage lots of different variations with this:
- Hot or Cold
- 20 Questions (Yes or no questions to help the children figure out where the bean bag was hidden)
- Encouraging the “hider” to give hints
- Making a treasure map
- “Bean bag hunt” with all of the bean bags hidden
Balance the Bean Bag
I encouraged the children to walk around wearing the bean bag on their head as a balance and stability exercise, and then we tried (semi-successfully) to balance the bean bag on different parts of their body, for example, holding out their right foot and balancing the bean bag on that, or on the back of their hand.
We had so much fun with our bean bag games and activities, but I can’t wait for the kids’ exercise room to be completed, or to get back outside!
What games or activities would you get up to with these bean bags?
Check out some other indoor games from:
What Do We Do All Day – Dots and Boxes Game
B Photo Art – Quick & Easy Photo Memory Game
Sight and Sound Learning – Sight Word Football Game
The Gingerbread House – Simple Noughts and Crosses with Toys
If you like this post, you might want to consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter full of hands-on learning, kids’ kitchen ideas, and parenting inspiration!