Beads and Beans Activity for Kids

If your kids love rocks, chances are they love to be outside. Well, when the weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s a good idea to have indoor activities in your pocket. Why not add a rock-themed indoor activity to your roster? Even better: It’s super simple to set up, and cheap.

Materials and Steps

rock activity
Hunting for “rocks”
  • Large, shallow plastic container (I used a new kitty litter pan I got at the dollar store)
  • Dry beans (I used pinto)
  • Pony beads or other larger beads*
  • One small bowl per kid
  • Tools: plastic tweezers, sieves, “gobblers” (see the purple and green plastic grabbers in the pic to the right), scoops
  1. Dump the beans in the container
  2. Add the beads and mix
  3. Set up a station with the container, tools and one bowl per kid
  4. Let ’em go to town “panning” for beads


“Mom, put the camera down and help me find the beads!”

This activity not only satisfies pebble pups who are stuck inside, it also helps them work on their fine motor skills. I got the “gobblers” on Amazon and my kids love them!

If you have more than one kid, save yourself the headache and have two of every tool type. You know what I mean.

Go to your zen happy place as the beans start hitting the floor. 🙂


*This activity is not for kids who are still putting things in their mouths. Caution: Choking hazards.

Here’s a short video that shows this activity as well as one more, that keys into kids’ hunter-gatherer instincts.