This is our newest homemade toy and it's probably the biggest hit of anything I've made so far. It's so incredibly easy that a tutorial would be insulting, and if you have scrap material or fat quarters on hand, it costs about two bucks to make.
I pre-cut the fabric one night (to approximately 3" x 4", but not uniform by any means), sewed them right sides together leaving about an inch and a half opening, and turned them right side out. This is a great use for scrap fabric or fat quarters. Then the next day we made a project of filling them. I gave Huck his very own bag to work on because he fills one. bean. at. a. time.
I bought the beans in bulk at a $1.29 a pound. I think I bought about a pound and a half. I perused the entire bulk bean selection--the pinto bean felt a little too large and the mung bean was a tad smallish, so I went with the ubiquitous black bean. However, any bean will do or you can use kernel corn if you prefer. But I'm a purist and believe that a beanbag should be filled with, well, beans.
Once they were stuffed--don't over fill or they have too much heft and not enough squish factor--I hand stitched the opening with embroidery floss and we were ready to play. I had intended to save them for his Easter basket but with the whole cutting back on TV thing, I needed them immediately.
They are an incredibly versatile toy. We toss them in the basket, we walk around with them on our heads, we drop them in the basket from our heads, we hide them and use them as seats and pillows for stuffed animals. I'm sure there are a ton of other things we can do with them that we haven't even thought of yet. And the Todder's Busy Book has a bunch of bean bag games you can play with them, too.
I originally only made 8 but I'm going to do 2 more so we have a "full set" and can count to 10.
Like I said, with beans and some scrap fabric you can whip out this toy in an hour flat. The play possibilities are as endless as your child's imagination.
2011 UPDATE: Though we did lose one bag somewhere in a house about a year ago, these beanbags are all STILL intact and and STILL played with by both of my children on an almost daily basis. 3 years and going strong. I am now 100% convinced that a basket of beanbags is the best child's toy ever.
If you like this post check out my great Beanbag Gift Basket for 2-5 year olds which includes a more comprehensive list of beanbag games.
Still want more?