Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bean Sorting

If there is one thing I know already about having two kids (working on making myself stop referring to Owen as a baby...slowly getting there) it is that there's a lot more potential for head-butting (literally and figuratively) when you are inside together for any length of time.  I'll have my work cut out for me this winter I think.  We had a test run yesterday because it was dark, rainy and chilly all day and I have to say it went  pretty well.  I think as long as I keep my expectations pretty low and focus on taking care of the basics in the mornings (shower, eat breakfast, get everyone dressed, brush everyone's teeth and hair, wash dishes, hang laundry and drink coffee) the three of us should get along alright.  More and more I can just let the kids play together while I take care of my stuff (I can even take a fairly relaxed shower while the two of them play together.....most of the time) which makes a huge difference.  These two trouble makers are becoming quite the pair.  Zoe, for the most part, is a very kind older sister and Owen adores her.  We have entered the "we need two of everything" stage because everything she does, says and wants HE does, says and wants.  Most of the time it's cute and funny but sometimes, if we aren't prepared.....anyway, though mostly it's just so fun to watch the two of them bond and become buddies/partners in crime (don't believe Owen's is most definitely a ruse in his case)..

We spent the first part of this morning inside and I randomly came up with a great little activity for them.  Actually, the initial idea turned out to be perfect for Zoe and I had to adjust quite a few times to make it work for Owen but all in all it was fun and relaxing for all of us.  Simple and short lived, but fun and easily repeatable:

Bean Sorting

 While he and I were at the grocery store last weekend, Owen REALLY wanted to get a few bags of dried beans.  I let him pick out a few different kinds, knowing we'd find a use for them at some point.  I also happened to be hanging on to our most recently emptied egg carton, also feeling like the kids and  I could  find something creative to  do with it.  This is what we ended up doing with all  of those things!
They worked together like this for a good  30 seconds...

My first attempt at finding an Owen version..he quickly tried dumping the container of  beans into one of the cups and I  quickly got....

...a big bowl.

I have a few of these spice containers in my cupboard that I never use so I cut the top of one a bit so he could try putting the beans in through the top.
My big girl quietly working away....

Yes, the beans ended up  on the floor.  Yes, you have to prepare yourself for that but c'mon...who cares, right?  Nothing a broom can't take care of in 3 minutes or less...besides, maybe you can get the baby--I mean, the KID to do it for you!
Our friends Ruby and Ada came over for a little while too and Ruby gave the Owen version a try (she is only a few months older than he is).  Little Ada moved some milk jug tops around for a bit.

"Can we do this again tomorrow, Mommy?"


  1. Beans are always so much's another idea what to do with them.......we took Kristy's 3 kiddos to an interactive kid outdoor show a couple of years ago that had a long table with sides filled with beans of various colors and sizes. All the kids were lined up waiting for their turn to shovel, pour and just run their fingers through all those beans. When winter weather forced us to get creative with 3 active kids we remembered the Bean Table but who has room for that in a small place.......well a covered plastic under bed storage box (ours had wheels which made moving it very easy) worked out very well. Their imaginations went wild and they loved cleaning up when we had dollar store little dust pans added to the BEAN TOOLS . The beans didn't scatter as much because they didn't fall from a higher table and with a box with lid that opens from either side the 2 year old twins couldn't get into it without asking to play in the bean "sand box". The boxes are going strong 2 years later......I say boxes since we added a real sand box storage box for play when sitting outside the front door. The bean box has been moved out to the garage with the covered sand box and interestingly the kids have discovered that some beans that missed getting put back in the box sprouted along the driveway so the kids planted beans in all Mommy's flower planters on the front porch. The Gerber daisies looked different this year with string beans growing under them. Underbed storage boxes worked out well for the Patmore kids and this summer the sand box took on a new look........The Mud Box!!!!!!

  2. Thanks, Aunt Betsy! Sounds like you all have such a blast together! XO