Yes, I went there with the blog title. Honestly, ever since I made my bean box a little over a week ago, I’ve intended to go there. So sue me.
I’ve known about bean boxes for a long time, and thought it would be a super fun thing to have for almost as long. However, it was one of the many things I never really got around to. The effort of putting it together to begin with was a deterrent, and then the idea of having to clean up afterward… Let’s just say it wasn’t something I felt like doing as a working mom. Now that I’m staying at home – let there be beans!
A bean box is one of those activities that is a gold mine for therapy purposes. The OT is obvious: sensory, scooping, pouring, and pincer grasp all in one. The language is plentiful too! I had so much to say about beans, the colors (I made sure to choose as many different colors of beans as were available), the sizes (big ones and small ones), scoop scoop scoop, pour pour pour, beans in our hands, beans falling down, beans on our arms, in the beans, out of the beans… Yeah, there was definitely no shortage of language. As for the PT, well, I’ll get to that later.
Never – and I mean never – has an activity at home captivated my children like this box filled with about $7 of beans. 40 minutes later, I had to put the box away because we were expecting someone; neither boy was ready to give it up yet! 40 minutes is like an 8 hour day for a 2 year old and a 4 year old. They started out simple, scooping beans and digging through to look for toys I’d hidden (yeah, there’s more of that language – pigs that oink and cars that beep when you dig dig dig them out), and then decided they had other ways to play.
“Eric wants to sit in the beans! Is there room for Eric to sit in the beans? Oh no, there’s no room! The box is too small!”
“Danny’s turn! Danny, tell Eric, ‘my turn!’ Aw, you’re pushing Eric… Push, push, push! It’s not nice to push, Danny. Tell him, ‘my turn!’”
(Here’s that PT – that’s a pretty good sized step for a little guy!) “Danny’s standing in the box! Look, Danny, the beans are on your feet. Do you feel them under your feet? There’s beans in your toes!”
…And then I put the box away.
What a great idea! I have beans on my shopping list today to put in milk jugs for Aiden to carry around (or push in his shopping cart) for sensory (it gives him that extra input he needs). I’ll have to buy some extra packs and make a bean box! Love it!
I keep meaning to do this too! Your blog was a great reminder; I bet it would entertain Leah for a good while. That last photo & caption is hysterical!
Sensory bins are a hoot, and what a way to get a kid involved. I use them all the time in my practice here. Another fun thing is a bin full of “junk”, feathers, tin foil , sand paper, little pill bottles of things that shake and make different sounds, tons of dollar store items that you think are worthless are my treasures. Playing listening games as you describe something and the child has to find it in the bin. Or vice versa… the child picks something in the bin and has to describe all textures and colors and noises and stuff. It is just FUN!!!! And then to clean it up because there are a million little beans, or rice or toys…. you set a timer( and there are visual timers too for the hearing impaired) and who ever has the magic whatever(bean, feather, etc. )when the time is up, gets 10cents (or however much you want, I”m just cheap)to put in their piggy bank and then when you get to say 3 dollars they can spend their money on something that they want. And you don’t have to clean up YAY!!!!!!! And the child has their own money. And that is always fun. Yes sensory things are my favorite. Have fun!!!!! Love, mom