User avatarPouring beans

If you Google “pouring beans”, we are number 3 in the listings. And rightly so. Bronze is a fitting medal considering the effort we put in here.

The top two results are both websites describing an activity called “pouring beans” which is a lesson used at Montessori day nurseries. Since we do very little bean pouring here, and the pouring of Montessori beans is clearly more popular than we are, I think it’s time we examined this practice. I also think that if we put the pouring beans activity on our Pouring Beans website we might get bumped up the listings.

Here is the full guide for you to try at home.

Age 2½ to 3 years
Materials Two identical jugs, beans, tray, mat
AimTo pour the beans from one jug to the other and then back
Learning outcomesConcentration! Patience! Hand-eye co-ordination! Hand control! Eyes! Beans! Pouring the beans!
InstructionsYou… I mean, you get the kid to pour beans from one jug to another. If you want to make it more complicated than that, there’s some more detailed instructions here, but I expect the kid will lose interest before you finish explaining it and go and run around for a bit instead.
Extending the activityUse smaller grains. Use bigger grains. Use smaller jugs. Use bigger jugs. Do it without jugs. Do it without beans or jugs and just imagine it. Sit in silence and think about beans. Just sit in silence. Just be quiet. Why can’t you be quiet. Now go back to pouring beans.
VariationsUse different beans or rice or dice or something else.

I’ve spent the evening doing this and I can confirm three things.

  • It’s relaxing for the first two or three minutes.
  • After the first few minutes you start to get very bored, and then shortly after that you begin to lose your mind. After an hour I had named all the individual beans and was taking register while they tipped from one jug to the other.
  • The version of Pouring Beans that we’ve been doing, that is less directly bean-related and more about blogging, is far more enjoyable and deserves to be first in the Google search ranking.

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