I made a bean box in two minutes for $26. I’m not kidding – it took two minutes. I guess I didn’t make it as much as assembled it, but it was really easy and my kids LOVE it.
I decided on this Ikea Skubb box (on sale for $4.99, normally $7.99) because:
- The top zips up and I can reuse it later for storing things. It also helps catch some stray beans when it’s open.
- The black color is nice because it blends in relatively well when it’s not in use instead of having a big plastic box in the corner. It also folds up very easily so if your space is really limited, you can put this away every time you use it.
- The height is perfect for toddlers climbing in and out.
You can usually get a pound of beans for $1 at the dollar store, but I ended up buying 25 pounds of pinto beans from Costco for $21. It is the perfect amount for the Skubb box, but you could probably get away with less than 25 pounds. I just like the feeling of digging through deep beans 😛
I threw in a bunch of sand toys, some stacking cups, and measuring spoons we had laying around. You can use tupperware or really anything that your kids can use to explore their new bean box.
My boys were mesmerized as they watched me pour 25 pounds of beans in the box, but as soon as I was done with that, they had their socks off and were playing with and swimming in their bean box. The first few times they tried to throw or eat the beans, I gently reminded them that that’s not what the beans are for and after only a couple corrections, they automatically pick up the beans that go out of the box (both on purpose and by accident). I think the threat of not getting to play in the bean box is pretty powerful. They aren’t always so rule abiding!
Usually after about 20 minutes, at least one of them gets punchy and we have to zip the box up, but so far they haven’t gotten upset about it. They seem to think of it as a special treat and appreciate it while it lasts. It’s pretty amazing to watch. I think this bean box is a really great thing for all toddler parents to have around. It’s so easy, super fun, and is a great way for kids to practice all sorts of skills.