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Beans

By Mark Warner
Age Range: 5 to 11

This activity is ideal for use as a warm-up before the main part of most lessons.

1) The children should begin by walking around the room in any direction.

2) On the various commands listed below, they should carry out the appropriate action:

Command

Action

Suggested by...

JUMPING BEAN

Jump around the room
RUNNER BEAN Run around the room (looking out for other people).
OR Running on the spot (more suitable for younger children than running around the room)
BROAD BEAN Stretch your arms and legs out as wide as you can. Sue Weir
Walk around the room taking as large strides as possible
Jump in a star shape Jo Warburton
BAKED BEAN Lay on the floor in a star shape until the next command is given.
OR Lie on floor and Sunbathe

JELLY BEAN

Move around the room slouching and doing silly movements Jordan Hedges-Hemingway
Wobble like a jelly Emma King
CHILLI BEAN Shiver and shake
FROZEN BEAN Children have to stand very still.
MR. BEAN Walk around with a puzzled/vacant expression, muttering under your breath! Susan Rayner
BEAN SPROUTS Stand on tiptoes and make yourself as tall and thin as possible.
STRING BEANS Stand on the spot, making yourself as long and thin as a piece of string Cathie Crowley
OR Find 2 partners, hold hands and run around in space.
OR Make a long thin shape Kathie Barrs
OR pretend to play an "air guitar" or violin!  
BLACK-EYED BEANS Children stand still and 'shadow box' by punching the air in front of them (obviously not touching anyone!) Melanie Dunn
Stand on the spot with one hand over one eye. Cathie Crowley
BAKED BEANS ON TOAST Lie flat on the floor, spreading arms and legs out as far as possible.
OR Children lie in middle of area as close to each other as possible
OR Find a partner and lay on the floor
DOUBLE BAKED BEANS ON TOAST Two sets of partners join together and lay on the floor
BABY BEAN Lie on the floor in the 'foetal' position Tania Norton
BEAN PIE Children should all run together to form a group
The children arrange themselves into groups of four, three of them create arches with their body and the other crawls underneath them. Ben Gray
BEANY BABY Walk around the room, crying like a baby or be like a bean bag!
FRENCH BEANS Stand in one spot and do the can-can Sonja Cheal
OR Strike a pose and shout "Bonjour!" Kathie Barrs
OR Cross your arms, kick your legs and point your toes while saying 'ooo la la' in a french accent! PE PGCE students at Newman College
Put 1 hand on your hip and put the other hand in the air and make a circle facing the ceiling while shaking your hips as if you are doing the hoola hoop on your waist. Claire Mcvey
OR Strike a pose and shout "Oooh la la!" Nicholas
BACK TO BACK BEAN Find a partner and stand back to back until the next command. Jordan Hedges-Hemingway
SEAN BEAN Based on the well known actor and Sheffield United fan. The children stand with their hands in the air - celebrating a goal and shouting the well known sheffield united exclamation : "C'mon you red and white wizzaarrrrrrrddddsssssssss!!!!!!!!!" Chris Short
Pretend to play the character "Sharpe", or playing football. T. Conley
COFFEE BEANS All cough madly (hands over mouths of course) Kathie Barrs
KIDNEY BEANS Stand still with arms and upper body bent forwards at waist.
OR Bend over and try to touch your toes! Tina Longstaff-Tyrrell
OR Freeze and bend into a C shape and shout Chillie Con Carne! Iclal Lawrence
OR Make a Kidney shape on the floor Anne Sears
BUTTER BEANS Slide around on bottom (indoors)
OR Make a cuboid shape Anne Sears
HUMAN BEANS Running on the spot (i.e. we humans dash about and get nowhere fast!!!!) Teresa Hall
SANTA's BEEN Walk about wobbling your tummy saying "Ho,Ho, Ho". Gill Christie
FULL OF BEANS Dance around really energetically! Claire Bishop
WHERE'VE YOU BEAN? Puzzled expression, with hand over eyebrows peering into the distance Kathie Barrs
HAS BEANS Walk around with a pretend walking stick as if old and frail. Katie Smith
Point behind you, look behind you, or walk backwards. Shiela Daly
All lying on the floor pretending to be dead. Johanna Aldred
Walk Backwards Carol Penny
BEAN THERE,
DONE THAT!
Children walk haughtily with noses in air, waving one hand
JELLY BELLY BEAN Students lay on floor on their bellies and wiggle. Glenda
NOT A BEAN Wandering around the room looking sad Anne Sears
OLD BEAN Walk round slowly like an old person. Carol Penny
DWARF BEANS Moving around on your knees.
TINNED BEANS Children get into small groups Jo Warburton
BEAN HURT Children rub their knee etc. as if they have been pushed off a swing!! Dan Strange
FLAT BEANS You can use this at the end of the activity the children lie flat on their backs.
BEANSTALK Children could start crouched on the floor and grow up slowly until they are straight and tall like the beanstalk in 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. Dr L.F. Lowenstein
OR children run up the bean stalk when you shout GIANT they climb back down and chop the beanstalk down. Jenny Aspinall
MAGIC BEAN Children either wave their magic wand or waggle their fingers as if casting a spell. Claire
OR children return to the exact spot they started the game in (useful to get them to find identifying features of their starting point). Jo Dean
OR children skip around room waving a wand. Jenny Aspinall
BEANIE Children crouch down on haunches, wrap arms around knees, and bounce on balls of their feet. Timi Willemse
GREEN BEANS Children stretch themselves very tall in a space. Sarah Boyer
MICROWAVE BEANS Children run around, touching the floor, and jump up (with a PING!) into a star shape.
MEAN BEAN Stomp around the floor looking mean and moody. David Vellani
LEAN BEAN Children get into pairs, and lean back to back supporting each others weight.
BEAN HAD Children roll around the floor pretending to laugh. Paul Osborne
TOOTHBRUSH BEAN Walk around the room, pretending to brush your teeth. George Edmond
LAUGHING BEAN Children walk around the room laughing! Paramjeet Soodi
CRYING BEAN Children walk around the room crying!
SAD BEAN Children walk around the room pretending to be sad!
HAPPY BEAN Children walk around the room pretending to be happy!
SPRING BEAN Children start in crouching position and then spring up suddenly towards the sky! Suzanne Catchpole
CHICKEN BEAN Children crouch and scratch around like chickens with their arms folded in as wings. Chicken noises could be made.
LEMUR BEAN Children put their hands as though they are paws in front of their chests and look around eagerly like a Lemur!
THREE BEAN SALAD Children get into threes, one on the bottom sitting on the floor, the next on their lap, the final one on the middle ones lap. Nicky Beards
BEAN BAG Children get into pairs. One sits on the floor, the other on their lap Allie White
Pretend to be a bean bag, being thrown between two people. T. Conley
A child would inflate as a beanbag by breathing in deeply through nose and exhaling through their mouth. Janice Bryant
BOGGIS, BUNCE AND BEAN After reading Fantastic Mr Fox, a year 3 child suggested: 'Boggis, Bunce and Bean' - Children get into 3s, and each pretends to be one of the three farmers (one fat, one short, one lean (all mean)). Ian Battersby
NEVER BEAN Children curl up in a ball on the floor, as though they have never been born. Mike Walton
SUPER BEAN Children freeze in an arabesque and can also make a suitable sound like Superman.
BEAN CASSEROLE Children all join hands, or have a group hug! Daidra Chilek
WAX BEANS Children strike a pose and hold it like they are made out of wax.
SNAP BEANS Children snap their fingers.
HILL OF BEANS "Hill of Beans" as we old timers used to say in reference to something not mattering very much as "It doesn`t amount to a Hill of Beans." The children could do the Mountain Climbing exercise (Get on your hands and one foot with the other foot stretched back and switch legs several times). Carolyn Uliana
EDAMAME BEAN Children have to assemble in groups of three or four, curl up into the fetal position in a row on the floor, as if inside a pod and then pop out one at time. Katherine Smith
BEANO Children could walk around pretending to be devious and looking naughty! Fiona Miller
COWBOY BEAN Children hold hand in air as if they are lassoing a cow. The children call "ye how"!!!!  
BEANOCULARS Lie on floor with a partner side by side and roll towards and away from each other.  

Thanks to numerous contributions from visitors, many of the commands have more than one possible action. In these cases, you might want to choose one of the actions and teach this to the children. You could also show them all the possible actions related to each command, and let them choose which one they prefer.

You could also ask a particular child to demonstrate a particular bean action, and ask other children to guess what type of bean it is!


A variation, contributed by Niki... one caller calls a selection of bean types:

  • Jumping beans - jumping round the room
  • Runner beans - running round
  • Broad beans - stretching broadly (star shapes) etc

When 'baked beans' is said, the caller then tries to catch everyone and stick to them. Caught beans help with getting everyone stuck together until there's no one left unstuck!


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