My children love playing with beans. Their particular bean favorite is what we call ‘Spilling the Beans‘.

We have an old draw that I fill with beens and rice, packets of the stuff! They love to sift it, sweep it, spoon it. They love how it feels slipping through their fingers. They love running their hands over it, heaping it into mounds, pushing it into craters.

Waldorf play in a bean boxIt is a very calming activity, and we bring it out when frustrations are high. (Did anyone else have children with ‘Halloween Hangover’ yesterday? Mine were overexcited all day!) The bean and rice mixture is wonderfully sensory and tactile and calms their spirits with it’s different textures and shapes and sizes. It makes a lovely noise as it tinkles and scrunches. It smells earthy. It feels natural. As A Good Man would say, it’s very ‘Waldorfy’! I found all the ingredients from Walmart and it didn’t cost a lot; a bag of brown rice and a bag of each of the different types beans. (ps… don’t know why LinkWithin wants to post in the middle today?)
We have a selection of accessories, a colander that has holes big enough to only allow the rice to sprinkle through, a small dust brush and pan, a few spoons, some with slots, a scooper, a few dishes to fill, a funnel; all my old kitchen castoffs.
I would say it’s outside play (unless you are very brave) as beans and rice end up everywhere, hence the name ‘Spilling the Beans’. The beans need to be in a large container so that the children don’t have trouble keeping it all in one place… an old drawer is the perfect size. I make sure the bean container is on an oilcloth mat as it makes clean up easy (sweep into a pile and scoop back into the draw… the children even love helping with this!)

Yesterday, we played ‘hide and seek’ with the beans. We put a jar of marbles into the mixture and the kids had a wonderful time finding them all.
Mr T, in particular, thought this was a wonderful game and spent ages finding all the shiny marbles with his brush …
He then put them all back into the mix again just to search for them all over again.
I give K counting challenges where she has to fill a blow with 30 black beans to bring for inspection.

So, next time your kids are in a funk, bring out the bean drawer and play ‘Spilling the Beans’.

Blessings and magic.

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