Unless they’re refried and smothered in guacamole, my daughter is not a huge fan of eating beans. But, when given the opportunity to glue the little suckers to a piece of paper, the very same beans are her friends. After spending way too much time grazing the bulk bins on a recent trip to the market, we filled up a bag with a colorful potpourri of bean soup for art making, of course. This simple little activity is a great way to extend gluing, glittering, and collaging activities. My kid adores glue, so this one was bound to please. And for the last week, a bowl of beans has graced our art table for spontaneous moments of bean art.
The Creative Hook
- Picking up little beans builds fine motor skills
- Making art with non-art materials teaches kids to think outside the box
- Problem-solving skills will be encouraged as children make choices about where and how to place the glue and beans
- Bottle of Glue
- Offer your child a piece of paper, bottle of glue, and a bowl of beans
- If gluing objects is a new activity for the child, demonstrate — on your own sheet of paper — how to squeeze the glue and drop beans in the glue puddles. Otherwise, let your child have at it.
My daughter made two bean pictures the first day we made these. When I thought she was “done” with her second piece, I was surprised to watch her make the decision to coat each of her beans with another layer of glue “to make them disappear.” Very cool. And then, a couple days later, I was was reminded of the importance of making creative activities and supplies accessible when she walked over to her table to make bean art just minutes after waking up.
Extension for School-Age Kids
If you have older children, they may enjoy making a bean mosaic like this one from Frugal Family Fun Blog or this one from Disney’s Family Fun. And here’s an edible version, using jelly beans, which is definitely for the older crowd. My child would just spend the whole time eating, and none of the beans would make it into the art.
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