Do you remember reading Jack and the Beanstalk as a child? I was always slightly envious of Jack for getting to go on such a great adventure.
This week the magic of Jack and the Beanstalk has captured my children’s imaginations and they have had so much fun bringing the pages of that book to life. We dyed these Rainbow Colored Navy Beans one afternoon to make some magical beanstalk beans for our mud kitchen. They have had so much fun playing with these both inside and outside.
Making these beans was slightly trickier than I thought it would be. The actual bin pictured here has three different attempted methods in it. All three turned out ok to play, but I definitely found one method that I preferred over all the rest.
Items Needed to Dye Navy Beans for Sensory Play
How to Dye Navy Beans for Sensory Play
The first method we tried was to portion out our navy beans into Ziploc bags, add in a scoop of gel food dye, and give it a good shake. This method was quick and easy, plus it dried nice and quickly, but the color was very uneven. In some spots, the color was so dark that the beans actually looked burned. While on other beans the color barely stuck.
For our second attempt to make these beans we filled up a couple different bowls with water, added in a scoop of gel food dye, and then submerged our beans for 15 minutes. This method produced a gorgeously vibrant color but wrinkled up the skin of the navy beans. It definitely was a unique texture. The big downside of this method was that it took an entire day for those beans to dry.
For this batch of rainbow beans, we separated our beans out into individual Ziploc bags and added in the gel food dye. Before sealing our bag and giving it a good shake, this time, we added in about 1/2-1 tablespoon of vinegar. It didn’t smell the best, but it worked like a charm! This method produced a beautiful and even color and had a quick drying time.
I love how bright they all turned out! This is a quick, easy, and affordable way to invite your child to engage in open-ended play!
More Sensory Play Ideas!