Beans, beans, the magical fruit! The more you eat...
Well, you don't want to eat dried beans. (My toddler does want to eat them, but that is no surprise.)
But they are fun to play with.
To start, I bought three different types of beans. I wanted them to vary greatly in size and color. I chose lima beans (the biggest my store had - fava would have been better), red kidney beans, and black beans.
I arranged them into section by size. We talked a bunch about small, smaller, smallest. It might have been more appropriate for a 3-year-old, but hearing the language never hurts.
I gave V. three sizes of tubes and a tray with three different sized holes to experiment with.
(She chewed the middle-sized straw. Apparently, the tape I used is an excellent teether.)
I put an equal amount of each bean into separate, clean baby food jars. This not only helps show how the same number of beans take up a different amount of space (again, more appropriate for an older child) but we could nicely hear the sound difference when we shook them all (a favorite).
Since setting this out on Wednesday, V. has added our bath cups, a spoon, and tested out the mesh strainer, which she returned. She really enjoys sorting the beans, so we've set up some bowls that I place a few of each bean into, and she continues the trend. Of course, another favorite is dumping the beans by the handful onto the table. One of the construction men running through our house this week thought it would be cute to teach her to dump them on the floor which does make a fun sound. Mommy also made a fun sound when the construction worker did this the first time.
We've run into a sensory bin issue. I'm trying to establish this table as the learning table, and V. is pretty good about going over to the table and sitting down to play unattended. She is also very good at bringing us to the table when she wants us to play with her. But apparently anything that is a container holding something fun is a sensory bin, dog bowls included. As I type, someone is wiping suspiciously wet hands on my fleecy pants. I hope that she learned something more than "Mommy is an awesome towel."