The little ones have been having a grand time the last few days tossing big linking beads into a drum with the top off. Great for coordination, but even more fun just to watch the way they play. Some love the tossing, others really get a kick out of emptying the drum beads back into the bead bucket. The littlest babe, who is not yet walking, absolutely relished in digging his hands down to the bottom of the beads and shaking them ... the sounds and the movements had him laughing hysterically.
I'd originally planned to have that be an activity with bean bags but I was so busy getting this quilt finished that I hadn't had time to make any bean bags.
Last night I pulled out my bucket of 5" fabric squares and sewed together some bean bags. I double stitched all of them (actually a straight stitch with a zig zag stitch further toward the edge) and then handed them over to the waiting older children who flipped them right side out and filled them with black beans and brown rice. (As an aside - I can't cook brown rice for crap. Every time I try to make it it turns out like soggy mush. Not something I can use for fried rice, which is pretty much the reason we make rice. So that brown rice is gone and is serving it's new purpose as bean bag filler.) A little stitching to close the seam and we were good to go. I put together 10 bags last night in about 30 minutes, with four helpers.
While the two sides of the bags don't use the same fabrics they are color coordinated (pink, purple, blue, red, orange, yellow, green).
Uses for the bags (so far):
draw circles on the driveway and have tossing contests
sort by color
sort by filling
toss across the room
knock stuff off the coffee table with them
toss them into the empty drum
line them up and have cars drive over them
line them up and use them as a doll bed
throw them straight up in the air and giggle when they land on, and then slide down, your head
And the #1 use to date:
Re-enacting scenes from the book Ten Apples Up On Top, which, apparently, we read far too often.
While I was only able to capture images of this particular child doing this (he's actually entertaining the baby, not visible but off to the left) every single child in the house put the bags on their silly heads today ... but only the big kids have managed to put more than one bean bag up on top (and recite lines from the book at the same time ... yes, maybe we do read this book far too often).
Another super simple project that provided a great deal of entertainment. Gotta love that.