Mix & Match Bean Friends

Drawing on beans to make mix and match bean friends are a fun crafts with beans ideaOur crazy traveling is over for now, and the boys have been eagerly anticipating the start of our summer suitcase of fun. It starts today, and I thought I would bring back an old favorite that I did back in 2010 – mix and match bean friends!

Simple, inexpensive games are my favorite and have proven to be favorites with my boys too. Crafts with beans are both frugal and fun!Drawing on beans to make mix and match bean friends are a fun and simple idea for a craft activity for kids using beans

These bean faces are so easy to make, are extremely inexpensive and have proven to be oodles of fun in the past – now that they are old and skilled enough to do their own art, I am anticipating it to be even more fun for them.

For each bean ‘person’ I used 4 beans and drew different features on each one – the top bean was hair, ears or hat. The second bean eyes or glasses and nose. The third bean mouth or facial hair. And the forth bean chin, neck, necklace, shirt or legs.

Drawing on beans to make mix and match bean friends are a fun and simple idea for a craft activity for kids using beans Drawing on beans to make mix and match bean friends are a fun and simple idea for a craft activity for kids using beans

Five years ago I used Sharpie markers to draw on large (dried) Lima beans and coated them in clear nail polish.
This time I am skipping the nail polish. I am all for simple. A plain old Sharpie will work just fine and last as long as we need it to (though the polished ones last a couple years before I finally just tossed them in a purge!)
Drawing on beans to make mix and match bean friends are a fun and simple idea for a craft activity for kids using beans

The various pieces can be configured to make silly creatures – there is no end to the possibilities! I made a few samples for the boys, and then have a large jar of blank ones, along with Sharpie markers, for them to make more of their own.

I set aside some of the Lima beans for supper – how’s that for confusing the whole “we don’t play with our supper”?! They won’t know what to do with Lima beans on their plate after drawing on them all day.
Drawing on beans to make mix and match bean friends are a fun and simple idea for a craft activity for kids using beans Drawing on beans to make mix and match bean friends are a fun and simple idea for a craft activity for kids using beans

When I first made these the boys were very young – 2 and 3 – and I kept the decorated Lima beans in a glass jar over the sink and would pull them down for them to play with when I was doing dinner prep or otherwise needed to keep them busy while I worked.

Now we will just keep them around for a few days and then toss – I am not such a fan of keeping things around and unless they convey otherwise, I don’t know that they will continue to come back to these after the novelty wears off.

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8 Replies to “Mix & Match Bean Friends

  1. I love toys like that. I filled a large peanut butter jar with bird seed and put a bunch of random small items in it (like a colored marble, a Barbie type comb, a quarter, a small plastic bird, a golf tee, etc). Helen and Patrick LOVE to shake it up and find things. They will do that for hours. For Patrick it is about the shaking, I think. But Helen gets a lot of pleasure out of finding and naming the items. I have a list of the things in there and it is kind of like an I Spy game for her.

  2. Oh, if you try the bird seed thing you MUST tape (or super glue?) the lid VERY securely. If you don't, you will be sorry. I speak from experience.

    1. I did something similar when Gabrielle was very young (3 maybe) to teach adding. I used two colors, say blue and red. I colored one side of each bean with one of the colors. Then I would give her a certain amount of beans to shake and let fall. She would have to say and eventually write how many blues plus how many reds equalled a certain sum. She LOVED it!! You can teach graphing that way, sorting, measuring…… Beans are so great!! I may use your idea for Mikki. She loves to create and I don't think would be bored coming up with various bean parts for the bean people!

  3. Pingback: Gifts For Boys

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