I want to share with you a really simple but fun activity to do with young children or even older kids
materials: bag of dried beans
long metal pan
kid-safe kitchen items
I prefer natural materials when I can to help out Mother Earth. At first, I was thinking rice, but who wants to clean up little white lines off of the floor! I had an unopened bag of dried black beans that was perfect (note: you can get them very inexpensive at the grocery store!).
I took out a metal pan (so they would clink and make fun sounds when she was playing) and some other kitchen items that she could use to explore the pan of beans. You can see all of the digging, pouring, and mixing going on:
Since the beans were large and black, it was easy to sweep them off the floor for cleaning. Plus, I don't mind cleaning up if the activity was an engaging learning activity. It helps improve small motor skills and hand eye coordination.
note: not all children are ready to play with small pieces because of choking hazards. It is up to your discretion and children should be watched carefully.