By: Jennifer Murray

Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit

To keep us from going absolutely stir crazy during these last months of winter, I’ve been trying to creatively break up the monotony (especially when Brad’s home for the extra hands and back up in case it’s a disaster).  You see, every day is pretty much Bill Murray’s Groundhog’s  Day around here, which I suppose shouldn’t come as a surprise since our boys were born on that little rodent’s big holiday and our last name is Murray.

I dug up this idea from my old therapy days (not when I was IN therapy, when I DID therapy – as in my "real job".) It’s super simple, but I thought I would share it for any of you who might need a  time waster rainy day activity. =) This one was a real winner providing over an hour of entertaining fun!

You just fill a container with a filler such as beans, pasta, or rice and then hide "treasure" for them to dig out.  I used non-toy items mostly – just ordinary things from around the house that they might find interesting, and of course a serving spoon as a shovel. 

The rules were to keep the majority of the beans inside of the container, but I used beach towels to catch the beans that were "accidentally" dropped. After all, why else would you use beach towels in March? On second thought, don’t answer that question, especially all you Southern Belles who are reading this with your flip flops on and your A/Cs running. 

For now we shall settle for our indoor "sandbox" of beans.  Hurry, Spring, Hurry!!!!! 





35 Responses to “Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit”

  1. Mrs. Wilson
    March 4, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    That’s a great idea! I really have to try that with mine.

  2. Rachel E.
    March 4, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    What a cool idea! Have you tried doing that with sand? (Not that that would be easy to get in Indiana…it’s just what came to mind first because I live in Hawaii.)

  3. Chatabox Girl
    March 4, 2009 at 2:40 am #

    what a great idea! I bet the kids loved it!

    Just a side note… y0ou dont want to be in the south. Or at least where I am.

    I am in a sticking hot train with NO airconditioning and rush hour traffic. Its like a somebody turned the shower on all of us. A big sweaty disgusting shower! Yuk!

  4. Following HIM
    March 4, 2009 at 5:37 am #

    Seriously…ya’ll are SO cute with what you do with the boys! SERIOUSLY! Who knew beans would be so entertaining 🙂

  5. Drea
    March 4, 2009 at 6:58 am #

    oh my gosh im so doing that today!! what a fun idea!! ill post pics prob if i do this, so check things out 🙂 ill give u props

  6. Emily
    March 4, 2009 at 7:21 am #

    What a great idea! I’m in Georgia and we had six inches of snow on Sunday. It’s not always balmy in the South!

  7. Terri
    March 4, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    As a “Southern Belle” (NC)I can tell you I DO not have on flip flops! Come on, we just got 2 FULL inches of snow! lol However, Saturday will be close to 80*! (not that I am rubbing it in)

    LOVE the bean idea! I may just have to try it!

  8. The Cochran Crew
    March 4, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Holy Cow, you genious, you!! That looks super fun! I may play a game of it by myself tonight!!! Maybe I can convince Matt to hide money in there and I get to keep whatever I find! 😉 You all are such a beautiful family!

  9. Fulton Quads
    March 4, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    I LOVE this idea because I hate sandboxes! I know that having one is sort of the rite of passage when you are a kid but I dislike them so! In the church nursery they also have a similar activity that they call a "wonder" box. I must try this! Especially if it will keep them out of the dirty 'ol sand box! LOL!

    Love, Cathy & the quads

  10. Anonymous
    March 4, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    I have a question. Do the boys were the same size clothes?

  11. The Gerwer Babies
    March 4, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA!!! Seriously, you are A WONDERFUL MOM!!!

  12. Mom Taxi Julie
    March 4, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    Beware of beans up the nose and in the ears. Seems like my son always was sticking things in his nose at that age!

  13. The McNulty Family
    March 4, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    BRILLIANT JEN!!! What a great idea! I love it and the pictures are adorable!! HURRY Spring.. hurry fast!!!

    I love you.

  14. Anonymous
    March 4, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    HOW CREATIVE!!! And FUN!! I’ll share that idea with my sister for Honor!! She’ll LOVE it! You’re such an AWESOME Mama!! -Sioby

  15. Jac Tubre
    March 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Further proof that you and the boys are brilliant! I never would have thought of that and my children would just eat the beans until they choked 🙂


  16. Anonymous
    March 4, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    I worked in daycare and we had a rice table. Hours of entertainment for the kids and hours more clean up for us!! Pasta & beans are the way to go!!

    I hope you don't mind but I figured a few more ideas couldn't hurt …

    1. If you don't mind a little mess … we used to strip the kids down and put some cool whip on the table. They loved to mush it around and make shapes in the cool whip on the table. (plus it doesn't hurt it they happen to eat a little!!0

    2. Little crafts are great … Clear contact paper and tissue paper is super easy and mess free!! All you need is a roll of contact paper … cut it into small rectangles and attach it to the table with masking tape, STICKY side up (that's important). Rip up all different colors of tissue paper and then let the boys put the tissue paper pieces onto the sticky contact paper. When they are done use another piece of contact paper on the top to seal it up!! You can even do it for holidays … like make an egg shape for Easter with pastel colored tissue paper.

    Sorry this was sooooo long … Hope you like the ideas and enjoy them if you do them!!!!

    Take Care,

  17. King Quads
    March 4, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    So fun! I love the pictures of all FIVE of your boys playing.

    Come on Spring!

    You know what I will be singing for the rest of the day:)

  18. cndymkr / jean
    March 4, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I would have done the same thing except for the spoons. Boys tend to see them as weapons of mass destruction. I’m glad to see that your kids didn’t do that.

  19. Kate
    March 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    I like the Cool Whip idea. Funny thing… I have a friend in the Indy area who just did a similar post, but with water. I personally can’t do beans, because my almost-2-year-old puts EVERYTHING in her mouth (and beans are a favorite food!)

  20. Anonymous
    March 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    another for little boys (or girls) is diggers and cars with the beans or split peas on a table or in a lage box for them to zoom in, the language that comes with this activity is amazing

  21. Allison
    March 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    What a cool idea. Mine are too young for it though, all they’d want to do is eat the beans. But this winter I bet it would work. Thanks!

  22. Anonymous
    March 4, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    I used to let my son play with uncooked macaroni on the high chair tray. He had little bulldozers etc. It was a big hit. Gave me time to get the dishes done or get dinner started. Playdough in the high chair was great too. When he got done I would just turn the vacuum on and say goodbye to whatever had hit the floor.


  23. Suzanne
    March 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    i must admit…i got a little nervous reading that title! expecting some verrrrry intersting video footage of the dudes! ha…very cool murr! great idea.

  24. Gayle
    March 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    They look like they are having a great time with their “sand” box. I put a pile of flour on the floor for Lucas to use his little loader with. It was great fun…until now. Now he sneaks into the flour tub to help himself which usually involves spreading it all around the house. Such is life…a good idea gone bad!

  25. Anonymous
    March 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    great idea. we might have to try that sometime

  26. Anonymous
    March 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    What a clever idea! Love the boys’ little bare feet…just like they were playing in the sand at the beach. They are growing up way too fast. It is wonderful that the boys share their toys and play so well together – how great is that to always have a buddy, or two, or three to play with! And they all always look so happy together.

    Annapolis, MD

  27. Barbara Manatee
    March 4, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    I’ve had this idea in the back of my head for a while now, we just haven’t gotten around to playing yet! I know my two will love it too! Right now, they are loving play doh..I finally broke down and let them have some! haha! Oh, and stickers! Sarah can not get enough stickers!!

  28. susan
    March 4, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    I am in flip flops and have my A/C running…but I am in another whole hemisphere!! 🙂

    great idea…my boys would be tossing those beans everywhere though!

    one of the teachers from their kindy told me another great idea…that may work better in the garden {but you can adapt it I’m sure} is to use coloured water in a tub of some description for water play time. They LOVE the difference of realing being able to ‘see’ the water when they pour it etc, also glitter in the bottom of the tub, like gold glitter in a tub of blue coloured water is very cool….toss in any toys/things you can grab and they LOVE it.

    Susan :):)

  29. Misty
    March 4, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

    The boys look great! I just got back from COSTCO to do the same thing! Were you an OT too????
    If so that would make at least 3 OT quad moms & all of us have all same gender!

    Hope spring gets hee fast!

  30. Melissa
    March 4, 2009 at 11:52 pm #

    Just found your blog. It’s great!

  31. Anonymous
    March 5, 2009 at 12:57 am #

    What a great idea! The boys are SO adorable! 🙂

  32. Kate
    March 5, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Great idea Jen! I’m gonna have to do this!

  33. Following HIM
    March 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    LOVE what you did with your blog header 🙂

  34. Jan
    March 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    Just curious – just what kind of therapist? OT perhaps?

    Thanks for sharing the idea!

    March 6, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    great idea! I may just have to try it!! hope to see you soon 🙂


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