Did you have bean bags when you were a child? I did! They often got used as ammo between my brother and I lol. But... don't let that stop you from creating some of these classic toys for your own kids.
We used them for toss games, as doll pillows, for hopscotch, juggling, hot potato, barricades for dinky cars shooting off of ramps... your little one's creative brain will come up with more uses then you thought possible. The creativity of childhood truly is amazing isn't it?
Use leftover fabric scraps. Mismatch the back and front panels to give them character. Try using fabric that is more durable to withstand the punishment that will be inflicted upon them in the days to come....
For little hands, a finished bean bag approximately 4x4 is the perfect size.
To make some beanbags for your little ones, you will need the following;
- Cotton fabric
- Needle and thread or sewing machine
- Filler (I chose lentils)
Using some muslin or other similar light weight fabric, cut two 4.5 inch squares for each bean bag you want to make. This will become the 'pouch' for the lentils. You don't HAVE to do this step, but it goes fast, and it really does make assembling and finishing the bean bag much easier. It also gives you an extra layer of protection against lentils flying around your home, should one of them ever get a hole or tear.
Put two pieces of muslin together and sew 3 of 4 sides closed, leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance. Do one for each bean bag you wish to make.
Fill each pouch with 1/3 cup of lentils. I used brown lentils because they were the cheapest in my area.
Sew the open end shut, ensuring the lentils stay out of the way of the needle. don't worry about being too precise.
Gather up your chosen fabric / scraps. Give the material a press with a hot iron. Again, don't skip the ironing step, it really is important to making sure you material lays flat when you cut and sew it.
Cut two, 4.5x4.5 inch pieces for each bean bag you want to make. Use coordinating or mismatched fabric.
With right sides of the fabric together, sew 3 of the 4 sides closed. Snip the corners to remove the excess fabric. Turn the square inside right.
Press the exterior bean bag pouch with a hot iron so it lays flat. While you're at the ironing board, tuck the unfinished edge under 1/4 inch and press with an iron. It makes sewing it closed much neater, so don't skip this part either!
Insert one of the lentil filled pouches into the exterior pouch.
Pin the open edge closed.
Sew around the entire perimiter of the square, 1/4 inch from the edge. Be sure to push any rogue lentils out of the way before stitching.
A finished bean bag! The lentils make really nice filler, not too lumpy and way less expensive then plastic fill. One bag of lentils cost me $1.79.
Make sets with numbers or the alphabet by adding iron on letters / numbers before sewing the pouches. Create a set with a rainbow of colours, or different shapes like triangles and circles. To make them more of a 'touch and learn' toy for wee ones, use different fabrics like faux fir, satin, microfiber, knits etc.
Create an entire game with them by grabbing three different coloured, plastic bins from the dollar store, label each one with a number (point value) setting them progressively farther away. Whoever has the most points once the beanbags are done, wins the game! Bonus, stack the bins inside each other and use the one on top to store the beanbags.