Bean Bags are a great companion to any
Training Program for early elementary or special needs children!
By, Christina Chapan
Incorporating the use of beanbags in physical movement programs provides several advantages:
-Beanbags are relatively inexpensive to make or to buy.
-You can easily make a set using sturdy material. Fill with rice,
beans, or shells.
-Beanbags take little space and can be stored anywhere.
-Beanbags are appealing to all age and ability levels. Grownups,
including senior citizens, find beanbags non-threatening to use
in a physical fitness setting.
-Use of the beanbag prepares students for participating in such
sports as soccer, football, bowling, or basketball when they get
-Beanbags are relatively safe to use (although use of them should
-Beanbags teach self-control, coordination, direction, and
manipulation of the body. When using beanbags, focus on eye,
hand, and leg coordination. Special needs students will benefit with repeated practice using beanbags.
-Beanbags teach directionality when throwing and catching.
You can teach the concepts of throwing and catching front,
back, side, left, and right using the beanbag.
-Children learn to throw to others and catch.
-Levels of catching and throwing are also discovered.
-Learning to work with others is an important skill.
Beanbag practice should begin with free play. Ask children to share their creative ideas for making up different games with the beanbags. Then have the children throw the beanbag up in the air and catch it. Have them advance to working with partners, throwing the beanbag to each other. Stress the importance of throwing softly to your neighbor, and catching the beanbag with your eye on the bag at chest level.
Toss with both hands. Then alternate left hand and right hand. Next, catch and throw using different hands.
Throw the bag low, high, and to the middle. Ask the children how they would feel if you did not tell them where you were throwing the beanbag.
Try different grips using the beanbag. Use palms up, and then palms down. Have children catch with just an open hand.
They can also kneel, stand, and lie down when catching the beanbag.
Throwing the beanbag overhead, to the rear, turning around and catching the beanbag. Try a half turn throwing and catching, and then a full turn.
Toss, clap the hands and catch the beanbag. Clap for different amounts of time. Clap the hands at different body parts.
Pretend to do activities such as combing your hair, brushing your teeth or another sport while catching the bag.
Toss, kneel and catch. Try catching between the legs, and then change positions so that you are facing the anterior direction.
Throw the beanbag back and forth, side to side, to your self.
Balance on different body parts, and try using more than one beanbag to achieve this goal.
Try to do different stunts or exercises while using the beanbag. This teaches hand or body dexterity and control. It also helps students with concentration.
Teach body parts identification by putting or controlling the beanbag on different parts of the body.
Teach colors, sizes, numbers, and direction using different beanbags.
Speed, rhythm, and direction can be taught as you use different songs or music while moving the beanbag from one partner to another.
Try throwing the beanbag to different surfaces, such as a shelf, or into a hula hoop, basketball or container. See how it feels to throw beanbags into various types of containers.
Beanbags are a great addition to physical fitness activities, to any classroom, or group fitness program for children (and also works well with senior citizens). Practice with a group instructor can be reinforced at home with an older sibling or parent.
What a wonderful way to build a healthy lifestyle for life!
Bean Bag Resources
Balley, Guy Ultimate Homeschool PhysicalEducation Game Book Educators Press. 2003
Balley, Guy Ultimate Sports Lead up Game Book Educators Press. 1999
Balley, Guy Ultimate Playground and Recess Game. Camas, WA : Educators Press, c2001.
Bean Bag Games
Bean Bag Games 2
Bean Page Web Page
Cheatham, Billye, Ann, Physical Activities for Improving Children’s Learning and Behavior: A Guide to Sensory and Motor Development, Champaign, IL : Human Kinetics, c2000
Gabbard, Carl Physical Education for Children: Building the Foundation, Prentice-Hall, 1987
Gallahue, David L. Developmental Physical Education for Today’s Elementary School Children, MacMillian, 1987
Hall, J. Tillman Physical Education in the Elementary School, Goodyear Publishing Company, 1980
Learning Station. Me and my Beanbag, Kimbo Music 1988
Panegyrize, Robert P. and Dauber, Victor P. Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children, Ninth Edition, Mac million Publishing Company, 1989.
Scelsa, Greg. Kids in Action, Greg and Steve Productions, Youngheart Music ,2000
Stewart, Georgiana Liccione. Beanbag Activities and Coordination Skills, Kimbo Music 1977.
Stewart, Georgiana Liccione. Bean Bag Rock and Roll , Kimbo Music 2000.
Christina Chapan is an ACE certified personal trainer, fitness author, education conference speaker and elementary school teacher. She also works in the after school care program at her school and the local recreational center with early elementary children. If you are interested in learning more about Christina her email is email@example.com and please visit her websites:
Fit 4 Fun
Fit 4 Fun Kids Fitness
Thread: Bean Bag Fitness For Kids