Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bean Bags & A Song

Who doesn't like a bean bag?  Even as an adult, you get one in your hand and you begin squishing it.  They feel so....interesting.

Bean bags are one of the many things in early childhood that are thought of as 'toys' and yet they are so much more than that.  It's almost as if 'toy' is a bad word, like there is no time for toys in early childhood.  We must help children get ready for school, not be treating them as if they are already there! (Remember?  It's called "Preschool".)  Toys are the tools of childhood.  It is with toys that many skills are developed because it is through play we learn how to navigate the world.  Bean bags are fun toys.  Let's break down the things that are learned when playing with bean bags.

The first aspect is tactile.  Children are feeling them.  Squishing them.  Poking them. This helps to develop the FINE MOTOR SKILLS of the fingers.  When they push down on the beans in the middlle and they move, that's SCIENCE!  They are learning displacement. When they toss a bean bag up in the air and it comes down, that's gravity.  None of these concepts need to be named.  They can just happen while children's brains get wired for understanding the concept when the time comes.

Another fun thing to do with bean bags is walk and balance with one on your head, foot or shoulder. This is important for VESTIBULAR strengthening.  By taking the bean bag and placing it on different parts of the body, children are learning body parts - LANGUAGE.  

When using bean bags with children, I encourage them to 'try what I'm doing' and 'show me what you're doing'.  This allows for you to show them ideas and acknowledges they, too, can think of things to do.  CREATIVE THINKING as well as CONFIDENCE.  I also ask them to share with a friend and trade bean bags.  SOCIAL INTERACTION.

There are many songs using bean bags.  (I, myself, have composed a few.)  The combination of music with the bean bag activities intensifies the learning experience.  Music helps the children utilize the bean bags in a constructive way while making it easier to understand.  Because of music, they will retain what they've learned a bit longer as well because the music will get more areas of the brain involved in what could have been just mostly a motor movement activity.

If you haven't used bean bags in a while, it is time to revisit them.  Here is a link to quality bean bags made in the USA.   Bear Paw Creek Bean Bags   
To get a 10% discount, use code : Musicwithmar

If you are using bean bags, YAY!  Either way, here is a free song download for you.  Get out those bean bags and do the "Bean Bag Groove".  
Download here : BEANS  And use the word BEANS for the code.  
(Offer valid until Jan 31, 2015)

For daily brain facts, please visit Music with Mar. Brain Facts Page
Music with Mar. Website
Maryann “Mar.” Harman
BA Music / MA Education
Founder of Music with Mar.


  1. I am so hOppy to see this being shared on Facebook!

  2. I love learning how such a simple toy can involve so much learning for our little ones. Let's get moving and pull out the old toys!!!

  3. Spot on, Maryann! Bean bags are terrific with Music and movement. Geeat article!

  4. Wonderful post on how fun and educational the good old fashioned bean bag can be. Love the song!

  5. Bean bags with music are a powerful way for our kids to learn. Thanks for the great information.


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