Bean bags might look like a simple toy, but for your child they can be challenging (in a good way!) and they make great tools for promoting gross and fine motor development, balance, and kinesthetic awareness.
They can even be used to assist with developing visual motor skills like eye-hand coordination, visual memory, and recognizing different shapes or colors.
All of these skills are important for understanding school assignments, writing, and even tasks your child will need to learn when they’re older, like driving a car.
Some bean bags are designed to be educational while others are created to appeal to the needs of children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Autism, or ADHD.
1. Number Bean Bags (Set of 20)
Material: These colorful, educational bean bags are made out of a washable felt material that is soft and appealing to children.
Size: 2.75 x 2.75 inches
Price: $29.99 (via Educational Insights)
What Makes it Unique: These bean bags are great for teaching children number recognition up to 20, or even higher by placing different bags next to one another (For example, place the 2 next to the 14 for 214.) I love that each bean bag has both a number and a word because it exposes children to early literacy and mathematical concepts while they play. These are great for math games, like tossing the bags around and adding up any that are touching when they land. There are a lot of different games that you could come up with on your own, and this package also includes some suggestions of games as well.
The odd and even numbers printed on each bag are differentiated by red/blue to help distinguish them. Everything comes in a handy drawstring bag for easy storage. Thee’s a lot to learn here, and they hold their own as regular bean bags on top of that.
2. Shape Bean Bags (Set of 8)
Material: These bean bags are made from felt and offered in a set of several vibrant colors of fabric.
Size: Between 4 and 5 inches
Price: $21.99 (via Educational Insights)
What Makes it Unique: Instead of the traditional square or rectangle shape you’re familiar with, this set comes with 8 different shapes making it a perfect choice for teaching your child basic shapes and colors. They are lightweight and easy for small hands to pick up and throw. Everything comes in a convenient drawstring bag, which makes it a little easier to stop any of them from getting lost. These shape bean bags are washable, and an included activity guide suggests plenty of ideas of fun things to do with them. Each of these bean bags for kids is a different color, and the included shapes are: triangle, star, square, oval, circle, hexagon, rectangle, and pentagon.
3. Color Bean Bags (Set of 10)
Material: These are made from a durable, easily washed felt material.
Size: 4 x 4.25 inches
Price: $21.99 (via Educational Insights)
What Makes it Unique: These colorful beanbags have the word for a color on one side of the bean bag so children will see the color and start to recognize its word, promoting early literacy while working on gross motor skills and eye-hand coordination while they play. It also includes a storage bag, along with some suggestions of fun activities to do with the bean bags. There are so many games you can come up with, like having them place each beanbag on or next to something in the room of the corresponding color.
All of the different sets from Educational Insights make a great collection, you can start with one and then get more, and eventually start mixing the different sets together for all sorts of possibilities. From math games, to matching colors, to sorting and a lot more – these offer a fun change from electronic screens.
They come in ten different colors, which are: orange, red, black, brown, purple, gray, green, blue, yellow, white.
4. Alphabet Bean Bags (Set of 26)
Material: Made from a felt material, these bean bags have embroidered letters on both sides representing uppercase and lowercase, color coordinated to differentiate between vowels and consonants.
Size: Smaller than the other Educational Insights bean bags featured on this list.
Price: $34.99 (via Educational Insights)
What Makes it Unique: There are 26 bean bags in this set, one for each letter of the alphabet. Your child will learn about uppercase and lowercase letters while they play, and when they’re old enough they can learn about consonants and vowels through careful color coordination. I think this set is great for introducing early literacy and practicing letter sounds. Since there’s only one of each letter, this set is great for identifying them, and there are a surprising amount of words that you can spell with just one of each letter.
5. Excellerations Super Sensory Bean Bags (Set of 12)
Material: These bean bags are made out of super soft chenille fabric making them appealing to children with sensitivities to rougher fabric types.
Size: 4 x 4 inches
Price: $33.13 (via Discount School Supply)
What Makes it Unique: Instead of smooth fabric, you’ll notice these bean bags are covered in nubs of chenille fabric. Not only is the design appealing and fun, but it can provide additional sensory input for children who really need it, too! It’s different than what you would expect when thinking of a classic beanbag, but the nice thing is that they’re also calibrated by weight to be tossed around without hurting anyone.
The fabric comes in green, purple, red and yellow. When these bags are held, tossed, or otherwise moved around, the filling makes a crinkling noise. Along with the soft fabric exterior, there’s also a durable inner bag that holds the filling and ensures that these will last for a long, long time.
6. Bear Paw Creek Textured Bean Bags (Set of 12)
Material: These bean bags are made using a variety of fabrics like corduroy, velour, and fake fur to give your child a unique sensory experience.
Size: 4 x 4 inches
Price: $22 (via Bear Claw Creek)
What Makes it Unique: As mentioned, these bean bags are made using a variety of fabrics to expose your child to different textures like soft, rough, and silky through play. This product might be useful for encouraging sensory integration in children with SPD when used in conjunction with other forms of treatment or therapy.
For every child, they offer some variety and a change up from the usual, while still being useful for any games or activities you would use normal beanbags for. In addition to their textured set, Bear Paw Creek also offers a more standard soft poplin fabric, which costs a couple of dollars less. I think the textured ones are worth the extra $2 unless you specifically want plain bags.
7. Weather Resistant Cornhole Bags (Set of 4)
Material: They are made with duck canvas, a fabric that is well-known for its resistance to harsh conditions.
Size: 6 x 6 inches
Price: $25.97 (via Amazon)
What Makes it Unique: These bean bags meet the regulations for the lawn game Cornhole but I think they are perfect for kiddos because they’re strong, big, heavy, and they’re meant to withstand just about anything! These bags weigh around 1 pound each, making them one of the heavier options on this list. The added weight is great for enhancing gross motor play and mimics what is used for occupational therapy.
They’re larger than a lot of the other bean bags featured on this list, and they’re great for playing outside. They won’t get dirty as easily as some of the softer fabrics. There are a number of different colors available and you can choose one color for each order, per set of four. If you want different colors, you’ll need to order additional groups of four bags.
These aren’t good for games that involve tossing bean bags at other people, and aren’t ideal for the younger ones, either.
8. Tailor Spot Resin Filled Bean Bags (Set of 8)
Material: Tailor Spot bean bags are made from durable duck canvas and will have no problem withstanding whatever your child throws at it (or throws it at…)
Size: 6 x 6 inches
Price: $29.85 (via Amazon)
What Makes it Unique: You can choose from a variety of color combinations for your set of 8 bean bags. Additionally, bags are double-stitched with industrial strength thread so they are considerably more durable than the other options on this list. They are handmade in the United States, and are very heavy duty. Because of this, and their size and weight, they aren’t ideal for younger children, especially in comparison to some of the much smaller and lighter options. They are resin-filled.
9. Weighted Tactile Bean Bag (Set of 5)
Material: This set of tactile bean bags is made using a variety of fabrics: denim, satin, corduroy, fleece, and solid cotton to help provide a sensory experience for your child.
Size: 4 x 5 inches
Price: $22.99 (via Fun and Function)
What Makes it Unique: These bean bags are weighted at 1 lb to provide support for heavy work, help with fidgeting, and enhance the overall sensory experience for your child. For younger children (under 3 years), there is a ½ pound set available for about $3 less. Each bag gets their weight from steel shot. These are relatively similar to the other tactile bean bags we featured earlier, but unique enough that both packs could be merged together for even more variety.
These are also similar to the textured set from Bear Paw Creek, but they’re larger and heavier, just in case that’s what you’re after.
10. Sportime Indestructible Bean Bag Frogs (Set of 6)
Material: Each bean bag is made from vinyl, a fabric that is known to be durable and is perfect for throwing!
Size: 6 inches
Price: $21.97 (via School Specialty)
What Makes it Unique: These adorable bean bags are shaped to look like friendly little frogs. They also have a set with turtles in case you want some variety. You get one of each color, for a total of six frogs or turtles. You can grab one of each set, for a total of 12, and do some activities where you match up the frogs and turtles from each set, sort them, and so on.
With so many different bean bags for kids to choose from, it’s never a bad idea to grab more than one bundle! Whether you’re looking for something educational, or just all-around fun, hopefully this curated list has been helpful in introducing you to the best bean bags.