We had a great weekend here. My mom, sister, and nieces came to visit, and it was wonderful. We made a trip to the zoo and enjoyed ourselves around the house. One thing I pulled out to amuse the kids was the bean box. I made this particular box over a year ago, but we've had others in the past. It can be a great amusement for preschoolers and early grade-schoolers indoors during rainy or winter weather. It was particularly wonderful when we lived in the small apartment. This time, however, we pulled it onto the deck because it's nice and sunny, and I wanted to let my 1-year-old niece play, too. (My 1-year-old daughter was napping, which is good since she would have tried to eat the beans.) Kids love scooping, measuring, sorting, and pouring things, and this is a really inexpensive toy. I took an old shoe box and filled it with kidney beans, split peas, popcorn, lentils, and black beans. You can use any combination of dried beans/legumes, but I liked the different colors and textures in this mix. So did the kids. Then we made pictures. Here is Alaina's:
Here are the boys' machines:
Sometimes we make mosaics, and sometimes they just do whatever their imaginations desire.