20 Bean Bag Games and More

For generations children around the world have been playing with bean bags. They can be found at most schools and are really handy items to have around the home.

But we’ve made a couple of improvements to them.

First we have made ours from textile waste to help reduce the epic problem there is world wide. The statics in 2021 is that about 6 tonnes of textiles is sent to landfill every ten minutes in Australia. Which is equal to 31 kilograms per person every year.

Secondly we added lavender so that as they are being moved around the calming scent wafts through the room.

What are you waiting for?
Get your bean bags today!

Here are 20 fun bean bag activities as well as a few ways you can use them around the home (or at school).

1. Catch

Improve your hand-eye coordination with a simple game of catch.

Toss and catch the beanbag between 2 or more people.

Variations or level up options include:

  • toss a beanbag into the air and catch it yourself
  • count how many times you catch it without dropping it
  • toss and catch with one hand behind your back
  • take a step back after each toss and see from how far you can still catch the beanbag

2. Freeze 

This is a variation on the traditional freeze, also called the musical statues.

Turn the music on and dance while tossing a beanbag up in the air and to each other. When the music stops, you have to freeze in position.

This can be quite fun, especially if the beanbag is flying at someone as you freeze. You may get hit on the head by a beanbag but you cannot move to catch it or duck because you’ll be “out”.

3. Doggie Doggie Who’s Got the Bone (bean bag)

Children sit in a circle, with one student in the middle (the doggie)

“The doggie” keeps his eyes closed as the class passes around a bone (bean bag).

After “the dog” sings “Who stole the bone?”, the student with the bone sings the last line by themselves.

“The dog” then has three chances to guess who has their bone.

If they guess correctly, they get to choose the next “dog”. If they guess incorrectly, they remain the “dog” for a second turn.

4. Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a traditional game that is great for gross motor skills and learn to count while hoping and jumping. 

Instead of using a stone or pebble, play hopscotch by tossing a bean bag onto the squares.

If it’s been a while since you have played hopscotch you might want to check this video

5. Hula Hoop Toss

Easy and great activity for developing aim and hand-eye coordination. Set out some hula hoops or mark out targets on the ground and have your child toss the bean bags into the hoops.

For beginners, place the hula hoop close to the throw line

Level up by having hoops at different distances and having to throw the bean bag into each hoop to finish. You can even make it a race if there are more than one player. Add extra fun by assigning points to each hoop, based on their position and level of difficulty.

6. Bowling

Who doesn’t love a simple game where you throw a soft ball at the tins to win, knock them over and win a prize

Set up some plastic cups, tins, cones, empty plastic bottles or any other objects that can be used as pins. Throw or slide a beanbag to knock over the pins.

This is a great gross motor game and can also be mixed with an art activity.

7. Fishing Toss

This is a great activity for the school holidays as it will have the kids busy for hours perhaps even days. 

First start by drawing basic fish shapes and cutting them out in cardboard. Then let the children decorate the fish in creative ways.

  • draw patterns on them
  • paint them with a brush or sponge paint them
  • paste glitter on them
  • stick pieces of coloured paper or our favorite fabric creating a collage

Then, mark out an area on the ground or use a few hula hoops to create a “pond” and scatter the fish randomly within. 

 
The idea is to toss the bean bags onto the fish. If the beanbag touches any part of the fish, the fish is caught.
 
If you catch one, take the fish out the pond and keep it in your bucket. If you miss, take your beanbag out the pond and wait for your next turn
 
Take turns catching fish and the person catches the most has bragging rights.
 

8. Bean Bag Balance

Bean bags are a great tool for balancing activities. There are many different ways people of any age can practise their balancing skills.

For beginners try balancing on shoulders, hands, arms or feet without dropping.

Level up by stacking them and/or moving on to trying to balance them on your head or on a wooden spoon without dropping it.

Level up again by balancing and then walking or making movements while maintaining balance.

Try adding more bean bags as the skill is mastered and see how many can be  balanced on top of each other and/or on the different body parts at the same time while moving.

 

9. Bean Bag Race

Have a fun race by balancing bean bags on your head (or other part of your body) and racing to the finish line.

Level up the fun by creating a course and/or timing the race and see if you can  improve on the time.

Level up again changing the rules – hop on one leg to the end, balance two bean bags on your head, race with a bean bag on a ruler, etc.

10. Noughts and Crosses 

For this game it might make more sence to revert to the American name ‘Tic Tac Toe’

Draw a large noughts and crosses board on the paving or on a large sheet of paper.

Instead of using noughts and crosses, use two different coloured bean bags to represent two players.

The object is to take turns to lay down a beanbag on a square and try to make a row of three. The first person to make a row of three vertically, horizontally or diagonally is the winner.

11. Volleyball Toss

Volleyball Toss must be played with 4 people

You will need

  • A net or make shift net (something to throw over)
  • Two tea towels
  • One beanbag

Set up a net or a makeshift net in the middle of the play area and stand 2 to a side. Each pair holds open a towel (each corner) and the beanbag is tossed over the net by flicking it up and catching it with the towels.

Try pairing an adult with a child as this could be physically challenging. Also, make the net low so it is not difficult to toss the beanbag over. Adjust the height to increase difficulty. 

12. Bean Bag Hide and Seek

Play hide and seek with the bean bags by hiding them around the house or garden and then sending the children to find them. 

You can also play ‘hot and cold’ by saying whether he is getting hotter or colder as they move closer to or further from a hidden beanbag.

13. Endurance Race

Set up a simple endurance challenge by giving tasks to carry out with the bean bags. Once a task is completed, the next task must be done until the set is complete.

Here are some examples of tasks:

  • hop on one foot while holding the beanbag
  • kick the beanbag along the floor
  • balance the beanbag on your foot while walking
  • crawl on all fours with the beanbag on your back
  • walk backwards with the beanbag on your head
  • hold the beanbag under your chin

If you don’t have friends to play with/against you can time yourself and try and beat your best time.

14. Hot Potato

Hot Potato is a classic children’s party game that can be played with a beanbag, to music.

The children sit in a circle and the ‘hot potato’ is passed from child to child but must not be held onto for too long or it will burn hands. The aim is not to drop the potato.

This is a fun gross-motor game that can also be adapted to get children crossing the midline and learning their left and right sides. Teach them to receive the beanbag from the child on their left with their right hand, pass it to their left hand and pass it to the child on their right. If they use the wrong hand they are out.

Children will get muddled up and giggle a lot but will soon get the hang of it.

15. Cornhole Toss

To play cornhole toss you will need a cornhole board or you can make one by cutting a hole into a piece of wood. For a very basic version, make one out of thick cardboard.

Mark a place to stand and toss the beanbag into the hole. If it lands on the board you score 1 point; if it lands in the hole score 2 points. Take turns and the first one to 20 points wins. Adjust the score and rules depending on players abilities. 

16. Bean Bag Hockey

On a smooth service such as floorboard or polished concreate mark out your hockey pitch/ground using tape or witches hat etc. Don’t forget the goals

Use a bean bag as a puck/ball and use sticks, brooms or bats as hockey sticks (if you don’t have any). 

This game can be played with 2 or many formed into teams.

17. Bean Bag Netball

In this variation of netball, use a beanbag instead of a ball. Throw the beanbag to each other (or to your own team members if there are a few players) and score by throwing the beanbag into the hoop.

If you don’t have a netball or basket ball hoop, make one with a hula hoop or a bucket.

18. Hacky Sack

This may be challenging for young children but give it a bash anyway.

Play hacky sack with a beanbag by bouncing it on your foot without dropping it on the floor. Count how many times you can bounce it without dropping it and try to beat your own score.

This will develop foot-eye coordination skills.

19. Bean Bag Twister

Bean bag activities - twister game

For this game you will need a Twister mat and a spinner, or make one with multiple colours.

To play, toss the beanbag onto the colour that the spinner landed on. This is a fun and interactive way to learn colours.

20. Juggling

Before moving onto fire flaming swords practise their juggling skills with some bean bags.

Start with two bean bags and see how many times you can juggle them without dropping them. Then try and walk around while juggling. Add in a third, forth and even more.

Here is a video you can check out that might help the process

And when the kids have finished playing.

Here are ways you can use the bean bags around the house

 

  1. Phone Holder

  2. Door Stop

  3. Paperweight (if you’re a sewer, they’re great for holding patterns in place)

  4. Heat/Cold press

 

Let the competition begin!

Katrina, & team XX