Bean bag bucket toss

After gathering up a few white buckets from Home Depot, I went home to decide what I wanted to do with them. I don’t always know what I will do with something I find but once I sit down and think about it, I start to get inspired and so for our first use of the white buckets, I created a bean bag bucket toss game…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

You know those times when you have a vision in mind of the way a game will go but once the children take over, the game takes on a life of its own? Well that was kind of how this game went. I put colored tape around the top of each bucket to match my bean bag colors and even put tape lines on the floors to match the color of each bucket. In my mind, the children would stand on the line that matched the color of the bucket and toss the same color of bean bag into the bucket…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

Well the kids did stand on a line but most of the younger children were so excited to toss those bean bags into a bucket that the bags went flying into whatever color of bucket each child happened to be closest to…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

So my big plan to focus their attention on color got trumped but I wasn’t about to stop them and say, “You are supposed to stand on the red line with the red bean bag and toss it into the red bucket!” Goodness, that would have made the game no fun at all. Instead, I observed the children and saw that they were engaged in the process and along the way, they were laughing, tossing, gathering, lifting, moving, finding a new line to stand on, developing an awareness of where they were standing so they wouldn’t be in each other’s way, cooperating, sharing, talking, aiming, and celebrating their shots when a bag landed in any bucket at all! I would say that the bean back bucket toss was a success in spite of my over-planning the process…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

The next day, however, I planned to share the game with my prekindergarten age children. I knew that I had over planned the process already but I really wanted to pull in a little bit of focus on the colors – somehow, some way…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

To accomplish my goal, I added a score card to the bean bag game and told the children that every time they made a “goal” they should add the color of bean bag they scored with to one of their squares on the score card…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

The sports enthusiasts in my classroom were thrilled that they would get to keep a score. They ran and tossed a bean bag then came back and colored a square. I am not sure if they actually used the correct color because once again, the bean bags went flying and kids were running back and forth coloring squares…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

But there was at least some focus on color along the way…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

And there were those who were more interested in coloring all of their squares rather than stopping to toss any bean bags at all. We had some beautiful coloring and patterning and once again, the children were engaged in the process in their own unique way…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

That is the tale of our bean bag bucket toss. In every way, the process was a success but not because of anything I had planned but because the children took charge, stayed invested, had fun, and made the process their very own…

Bean Bag Bucket Toss by Teach Preschool

Oh, and about those colors and color words…  Don’t worry – the children see it, they are aware of it, they are grasping all those core concepts but in their own way. My job isn’t to push them but to engage them.

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By |2014-09-30T07:00:58+00:00September 30th, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Mary Ellen September 30, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Love this activity. I love to read your blog. Reading your blog makes me a better preschool teacher. Thanks, 🙂

  2. Nida Zawawi January 6, 2017 at 1:47 am - Reply

    Wow, such patience and consideration. I’m inspired. Thank you very much.

    Best wishes,
    Nida from Malaysia

  3. Michele June 15, 2017 at 12:17 am - Reply

    I absolutely love this!! I’m going to use this in my class:)
    Thanks for sharing!????

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