Thursday, October 1, 2015

Teaching Together: 15 Bean Soup

I picked up a bag of 15 Bean Soup at the store because I thought Olive would really enjoy pretending to make her own soup.  She loves cooking with me and I wanted to give her a chance to cook for me.  The beans cost about $3 and provided HOURS worth of learning opportunities for her.  This teacher mama loved planning a fun preschool activity for home.

 I set everything up as an invitation for her to find.
She saw it sitting on the coffee table and her eyes lit up.
I told her it was for her so she dug right in.

 She immediately announced, "I baking soup!" and started scooping beans into her owl.  She was hesitant to try out the different spoons so I kept offering her a different one to try.  It was fun to see her figure out which spoons were best for scooping and which ones were troublesome.  She offered me some soup and warned me that "It's berry hot!" so I blew on it.  She wanted me to scoop beans with her and she kept saying, "Come on Mama!"  She ran to the kitchen to get herself a bib when she declared things were getting messy!  It was really entertaining to watch her learn.

Learning that took place:
We counted beans,
talked about size - bigger & smaller
pretend play
trial and error with spoons
bury objects in the beans for her to find
talked about the different noises the beans made falling into glass vs. plastic
worked on fine motor skills 
and lots of imagination.

Olive is two and I think you could easily do this with older kids, too.
You could teach them about measuring, sizes, capacity and recipes.

 I guessed that this learning activity would grab her attention for 30 minutes or so.  Boy was I wrong!  She played with this for HOURS.  I had to make her stop for lunch and then the first thing she requested after her nap was her beans!  We made soup for several days straight and she had a blast.  She never tried to eat the beans and really didn't make much of a mess.  I put out a place mat for her and only found a few stray beans on the floor when we were done.

I plan to pull out the beans again and have her sort them into an ice try by color and by size, 
see how she'd transfer them to an egg carton, 
put them into containers with lids to make our own musical instruments
and talk about colors and try to find all 15 different beans.  

Can you think of any other learning activities we could do with our 15 Bean Soup?

Linking up with a brand new link up this week called Teaching Together


  1. This too cute and fun! I love letting Lawtie "help" me in the kitchen and can't wait to be able to do more hands on things like this. (I think right now she'd a) try to eat them and/or b) eventually throw some across the room just because she can. ha!) Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  2. Such a fabulous idea!!! My daughter loves to help me cook and would love this invitation to play!!! We might be picking up some bean soup on our next grocery run!! Thanks for sharing your fun with our link up!! :)

  3. How cute! Try using them in water for a sink/float exploration and add a couple of different items too like try using the spoons to see how they react in the water. This has so many possiblilities!

  4. Oh she is just the sweetest. I love it when it is the little things that grab their attention. Sorting them is such a great idea! Thanks for linking up with us!

  5. What a great activity! You can really tell from the pictures that Olive was having a great time. That was a $3 well worth! I am really enjoying this series of posts. Keep 'em coming!

  6. Abigail would love this!!!! She makes me soup all of the time but just with play food. I never thought to let her use beans. Perfect!

  7. My daughter just did this with beads the other day. She was given some necklaces that used to belong to my grandma. Next thing I know she has them in a big bowl and has a spoon stirring them calling them soup. Even my 5 year old son joined in the fun. They literally played forever with it

  8. I love this! It's so awesome when we include our children in these "everyday tasks". They learn so much!

    Thanks for sharing (found this post through Teachable Moments link).

  9. I need to try this with Kane. I bet he would love it just as much as Olive did. You always have the best toddler ideas!!!

  10. This is so cute! I love this idea!! And her little imagination! So funny what goes through their heads.


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