Friday, June 29, 2012

Make Your Own Bean Bags

DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

I have been wanting to buy my children bean bags for a while and never got to it. I have a CD of bean bag toss songs that teach following directions that I used with my own preschool classes when I was teaching. It was a great indoor activity in the heat of Summer, rainy days or the cold of Winter that kept the students focused, but moving to burn their pent up energy. There are countless games that you can play with bean bags (I share one below), but they can cost (without shipping) from $10 for a few to $30 for specialty sets. I am a novice with the sewing machine, but since I have mastered the straight line, I figured I could make some bean bags for my children with leftover scrap fabric.  Here is what I did in case you are interested in trying it out yourself.

DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

Step 1: Gather some fabric-If you have a scrap fabric bin or basket, look through it for scraps that can be cut into squares of anywhere between 5 and 7 inches.
DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

Step 2: You need dry beans or rice (one type or a variety), a tape measure or ruler, zip top bags (I used quart size), and duct tape (optional).

DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

Step 3: Cut your fabric into squares. (I measured 7 inches.) You will need two squares per bean bag. I use a white crayon to mark my fabric, but you can use a pen or tailor chalk if you have it. Place the fabric right sides together and sew along 3 sides to make a 'pita pocket'.


DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide


Step 4: Put about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of beans or rice in a zip top bag, seal the bag, and if you desire use duct tape to tape the bag. (The bag will not be full, so as in the picture below, you will have excess bag that can be taped down to help it hold it's shape in the fabric pocket. I did not use the tape.)


DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

Step 5: Place the bag into the fabric pocket. Tuck any excess bag down inside so that it does not bunch up too much. (The bag is used to prevent the beans or rice from absorbing moisture over time that could grow mold.  Mold is an issue in our neck of the woods, so I am taking this precaution to get as much life out of these bean bags as possible.) 


DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

**Note: It has been two years since I made these bean bags, and they are still intact!

Step 6: Sew the bean bag closed. I am not an expert seamstress, so I just tucked in the open side, pinned it and sewed a seam across the top. 

Step 7: Repeat steps 1-6 until you have as many bean bags as you want. The picture below shows how many I made within about 30 minutes.  All that it cost was the price of the beans! They've been tossed and caught and dropped on the floor many times already and not one has popped. Very simple, very easy, and they can be used for so many activities.  

DIY bean bags from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

You can even make a bean bag toss game out of a cardboard box. Here is what our bean bag toss game looked like:

DIY bag toss game from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

Super simple. All you need is a cardboard box and a marker. I added a math element by labeling each flap with '5' and writing '10' in the bottom of the box. Each time the bean bag landed on a flap, the one tossing earned 5 points. If the bag landed in the box, 10 points were earned. We wrote each person's score on our chalk board and added up the totals as we went. (Great practice in counting by 5s and 10s!)



I saw one toss game on Pinterest and added it to my Indoor Gross Motor Activities for Kids board. It looked like the mouth of a funny monster which would be a more involved but fun one to create! 

More fun activities to create at home:

Homemade Play Dough Puzzle from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

DIY felt board made from a brown paper bag from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide


Enjoy your time with your children,




©2011-2014 The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide All rights reserved. 


15 comments:

  1. How easy we're those bean bags! Although with 1 year old twins I can never find the time to get out my sewing machine. I love your blog, I use the infant and toddler activities the most right now. Their are so e really good ideas for my babies. We just did the tape ball the other day, they loved it!

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    1. Mary, I am sorry that my previous comment did not reach you. Please email me your info where you would like me to send you your bean bags and your bean bag color choices (from the picture above in this post). I will send you 3 of your choice. Thanks for commenting and I look forward to sending you your bean bags!

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  2. Love your ideas, and this one is another great one! Thanks for the tutorial; I have been wanting bean bags for a while now, too.

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    1. rhema1982, I am sorry that my previous comment did not reach you. Please email me your info where you would like me to send you your bean bags and your bean bag color choices (from the picture above in this post). I will send you 3 of your choice. Thanks for commenting and I look forward to sending you your bean bags!

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  3. We use the infant toddler, and preschool ideas! I love your site! The tips ideas, projects my kids love your site too! :)

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  4. I found your website the other day and after reading a handful of posts, thought I would say thank you for all the great content. Keep it coming! I will try to stop by here more often.

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    1. Well, thank you for those kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to read through some of my posts and ideas. I look forward to you stopping by in the future!

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  5. Great information, I really like all your post. I will keep visiting this blog very often. It’s good to visit your website. Bean Bags

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    1. Thanks, John. I appreciate you taking the time to share.

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  6. Just wanted to share that my boys love the bean bags! We use them for all kinds of activities! We even use them with our Speech therapist for my youngest! So Thank you again!!

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    1. Thanks, Jamie! I am so glad to know they have lasted. Our's have too, so I was hopeful they were sturdy enough. It's so great to know that your boys are enjoying them. Maybe I will have to give away some more! :) Take care!

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  7. This was a good idea! I am the director of a summer camp and I had a variation I thought was worth sharing. I bought the quart bags and a huge bag of rice. I filled each bag with a cup of rice then folded it so it made a square about 5" on each side. I taped it together with packing tape along the edges so it would stay a square. I then took various colored duck tapes and my campers taped over the entire bag. They are VERY durable. This will be perfect for the boys in my camp (ages 5-10) to throw in and through things- we are currently doing Olympic Games week and figured we'd throw in some bean bag tossing. =)

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    1. THAT is awesome! Great variation for moms and teachers who don't sew! I bet your version is water proof-also wonderful and opens up a whole new group of ideas for playing with the bags. Thank you so much for sharing here.

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Thank you for taking a moment to share!