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.

10 comments to Pouring beans

  • That is far too meta for me to do. I can’t pour beans on Pouring Beans. Next you’ll be telling me to taste cards on I don’t want to taste card.

  • I’m not going to tell you to do that. But I am going to tell you to book some faces on

  • I don’t need to book any faces, I have plenty of face for one person as it is. I’ve now got more eyes than you’ve had hot dinners.

    Why would you book a face anyway?

  • Maybe if you wanted to reserve it for later, so that you didn’t arrive at the face and find someone else there.

  • The last time I caught someone on the face that I had booked, well, let’s just say I did a “Steve Stevingtons” on that poor soul and they spent a fortnight in A & E. Stay away from my pre-booked face, everyone.


  • The point is, have you poured some beans from one jug to another yet? I think it’s pretty important if we want to increase our readership. I forget how it will help but I have retained my absolute certainty that it will.

  • I do have two jugs I can use and I suppose I could pick up some beans over the weekend. If this is going to increase the traffic coming through these here parts then okay, I’ll do it.

    … would ravioli entice more or less people to come here?

  • Unless we rename the website to I can’t see how that would help.

    I plan to pour butter beans between two particularly large jugs (wheeeeey! what?) to create a spectacular display.

  • Right, no ravs only beans. Gotcha. I’ll get cracking on that right away.

    When I say right away I mean maybe in a week or so. Like a boss.

  • A boss would delegate the pouring to someone else. I suggest you get Kev to do it. He has lots of free time.

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