I did this project today after we had our school time. First of all, tossing bean bags is the gross motor skill for this week. Second, we are learning numbers. Third, she has already mastered numbers 1-4 by playing with the 4 bean bags I already made so I thought, “I might as well turn them into a set of 10!” I’m going to show you how I did it.
These bean bags are pretty simple and cheap to make and perfection is not necessary and totally overrated. This project can take anywhere between an hour or a weekend depending on your sewing skill and how detailed or simplistic you make it. For me it took 2 hours with a few breaks to play with my daughter and I expect to use them as a learning toy for weeks to come.
Here’s what I did:
I used the first bean bags to roughly measure the squares to cut out. I cut around them leaving a little extra space for sewing.
On a complimentary fabric I ironed on Wonder Under and drew my numbers to cut out. Once I cut the numbers, I removed the paper lining and placed the adhesive side onto the fabric. I ironed them on. This step could be enough for the numbers if your Wonder Under sticks the fabric together securely enough, but I reinforce mine by sewing them as well.
After sewing the numbers in place, I took the numbered square and a plain square and placed them together with the print sides facing. I then sewed most of the way around until it looked like this:
You can then turn them right side out and prepare to fill them:
After filling the bags with dry beans, you can fold in the hem at the opening and either slip stitch by hand (hiding seam all around) or simply machine sew to make it swifter and easier. That’s what I did:
There’s a wise saying floating around, “you’re kids don’t need perfection, they need you…” or something like that. Truthfully perfection wasn’t the goal. The goal was to make something we can play and learn with. Score! So feel free to do a variation of this to make it easier and remember that the object is “learning through play.” These are going to get tossed around a lot. I’m more concerned with her seeing the numbers than my uneven hem and crooked squares. It doesn’t hurt to make them really pretty or pretty simple!
This project is well suited for home or a classroom. In fact, if you’re a crafty mom, you could offer to make them for your child’s teacher or use them in your home. Tossing the bean bags to targets is great practice for little ones’ gross motor skills and it gets them up and moving. Including the numbers allows you to reinforce number recognition, shapes, and counting.
There you have it! A craft with a purpose! Do you have any learning activity ideas that incorporate math and movement? I’d love to hear from you!