The appeal of Magic Beans!
These beans were made by Teaching Assistant Jodi Spencer from Selston C of E Infant & Nursery School. Schools often use dried beans for counting and sorting, but these have been made extra special and even more appealing! The children couldn’t wait to get their hands on them in fact!
Simply spread the beans out on some newspaper – preferably outside, then spray them with Gold metallic spray. This can be bought for under £5 from Wilkinson’s or any craft/hobby shop or hardware store. They must be left to dry fully for a few hours or even better – overnight. They can be turned over and sprayed both sides, or left golden on one side and plain on the other. You could use a Sharpie and write numbers and dots on the plain side so that they are multi-functional. Or you could write the letters of the alphabet on them – capitals on some, lowercase on others for children to match and order correctly.
Here, they are being used by Year 2s on ten frames to work out number bonds (they flip them over as one side of the beans are plain). They are also used for number counting in F2 & Year 1. The children often select them in their Active Learning sessions as they are so appealing. They are used however they choose – for instance as magic beans – in role play, re-enacting Jack and the Beanstalk, currency (shopping), precious jewels or paving/decoration within their block-building constructions, counting and sorting and of course they are perfect for loose part play.
11 ideas for using beans in the classroom:
- Paint/spray them
- Add numbers on one side and dots on the other – use with ten frames, use them to order, count and sort
- Add the letters of the alphabet – capitals and lowercase for children to match and order
- Store them in small tie top hessian bags so that the children can self-select them from the shelf
- Keep them on your provocations shelf or include them in a suitcase of wonderful provocations to explore
- Use them for loose part play
- Use them in role play and storytelling – Jack and the Beanstalk
- Use them as currency and shopkeeping
- Use them buried in a sand tray to search and find – a treasure hunt!
- Use them as pirate treasure!
- Use them in sensory trays or bags
With thanks to Jodi Spencer, Teaching Assistant at Selston Primary School for this blog post.