Can you spot all that my kids are learning with bean sort?
Didn’t your mom ever tell you “big things come in small packages”? I’m sure it wasn’t just my mom who reminded me of this all the time. I’m fairly certain it’s a saying from the “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” lessons in parenting.
Sometimes, the best kid activities aren’t the fanciest. Or the flashiest. Or even the most interesting looking to adults. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t absolutely fantastic.
Trust me, bean sort is not as simple as it looks.
I know what this activity looks like.
Oh great, she put a bunch of beans in a bowl and had her kids sort them.
My friends, it was so much more than that and I’m going to sell you on this activity and all it’s magical learning powers by the end of this post.
You’ll want to try this bean sort after you read this!
So maybe this isn’t the craziest activity idea, but some ideas are simple, easy and just perfect for kids. This was actually an activity I used to do with my first graders and they did it the same way my two toddlers did.
Silent. Focused. Engaged.
How can a simple bean sort be so engaging?
It may just be me, but anyone else a fan of filing papers? Not in the day to day, but every now and then. Or alphabetizing. Or reshelving library books. A simple task that you can feel successful about and that’s oddly calming.
That’s how bean sorting is for kids. It’s a very gentle, precise activity and from seven year olds to two year olds, it’s a happy little activity.
I can’t remember the last time my kids played so quietly and so quietly together.
There’s an element of teamwork and camaraderie involved in this activity. My two year old kept telling her big brother that she was “focusing on da Lima beans”. I died laughing. But that’s what she did. Focused on the Lima beans. Quietly. Gently. Patiently.
But what are they learning in bean sort?
Oh my friends, they are learning so much here!
- Sorting: analyzing similarities and differences in each bean / grouping by attributes
- Pinching skills: this activity is perfect for working on pinching with two fingers
- Problem solving: what’s the best way to tackle this task?
- Teamwork: working together to complete the sort
- Visual discrimination: being able to identify one bean from another
See, I told you bean sorting is a powerful activity!
Did my kids actually like this?
Yeah, big time. Like asked to play it again the next morning big time. There’s just something about this.
For my son, it appeals to his meticulous nature.
For my 25 month old daughter, this was a great chance to learn how to pinch and grab (something that’s a little new for her – being the precise). She tends to be my more spirited, go go go kid so when she’s willing to sit for 15 minutes sorting beans… well, that’s the ringing endorsement.
Activities don’t always have to be glitz and glamor with fancy set ups or crazy expensive supplies. Sometimes, a few bags of beans and a couple of bowls is all you need for a wildly successful activity.
Would your kids enjoy a bean sort?