Bean Bag Toss Game


Here’s a fun family project for rainy or sunny days! Once constructed, it will give your child hours of fun, interactivity, and practice with hand-eye coordination. The bean bags and the game board can be made from materials commonly found around the home.  

What We’re Learning & Skills We’re Building

  • Gross motor skills – using the large muscles in the arms to toss 
  • Coordination – aiming and tossing the bean bag at the target on the game board 
  • Creative reuse – reusing common materials to create something new and fun
  • Building social skills – taking turns and sharing 

(Safety Note: Please supervise your children when using dry goods that can be choking hazards, such as rice, popcorn kernels, and beans. Bean bag materials should stay out of mouths, noses, and ears.)


Making the Bean Bags



  • 2-4 old socks without holes (youth crew or knee length, or adult crew)
  • Filler material: dry goods like rice, popcorn kernels, or beans
  • Measuring cups, coffee scooper, or large spoons 

Optional Materials

  • Medium-size mixing bowl
  • Plastic cup


  1. Measure out approximately 1-3 cups of filler material for each sock. (The amount will depend on how large the sock is and how many bean bags you plan to make.)
  2. Place all the filler in a mixing bowl (this will make scooping easier for your child). Use a spoon, a measuring cup, a coffee scooper, or your hands to scoop it up. 
  3. Fill each sock about halfway. Hold the sock open while your child scoops the filler in. Or, put the toe of the sock into a plastic cup and stretch the top of the sock over the rim of the cup while your child scoops the filler in.
  4. Tie a knot in the sock to close it.

(Note: Other small, soft, safe-to-throw objects can be used in place of homemade bean bags. For example, balled-up socks, wadded-up paper, small, light plastic balls, or store-bought bean bags.)


Making the Game Board



  • Small-to-medium-size cardboard boxes or box lids, or 2-3 shoe boxes 
  • Pencil, pen, or markers
  • (Adult use only) Box cutter, Klever Kutter, Exacto knife, or scissors 

Optional Materials

  • Duct or packing tape
  • Decorative materials like paint, tape, or stickers
  • Objects to prop up the board: bricks, stack of books, sturdy stick, etc.



  1. If your box has side or top flaps (like an Amazon box), shut and tape them so the box is closed. If you’re using a box lid, it’s best to work on the outside top of the lid, not the inside. 
  2. On top of the box or the box lid, trace around one of the bean bags to figure out approximately how large the holes you’re going to make should be. The holes need to be wide enough to fit the bean bags through them, but can also vary in size and shape to prompt experimentation during playtime. (Note: For a medium-size box or lid, 2-3 holes should be ok, depending on the size of the bean bags. A smaller box may only fit 1-2 holes.)
  3. Adults only: Use a box cutter, scissors, an Exacto knife, or a Klever Kutter to cut out the holes. 
  4. (Optional) Decorate the box! Let any paint or glue dry before moving on.   
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for additional boxes or lids.
  6. Once the boxes are ready, set them up outside in your yard, at a public park, or in your home (away from breakable objects). The boxes can either lie flat or they can be propped up at an angle using a brick, a tree trunk, a fence, or a wall.

Playing Toss

  • Practice tossing the bean bags through the holes. Model for your child how to do it, if necessary.
  • Have your child start very close to the game board. When they can consistently get the bean bags through the holes, have them take a step or two back. Older children (and adults, too!) might enjoy a contest to see who can toss the bean bags through the holes from the farthest away.
  • When all the bean bags have been tossed, retrieve them and play again.
  • For more challenges, try propping up the game board at different angles before tossing the bean bags through the holes. First, have it flat on the ground, then prop it up at a steeper angle, then even steeper. If possible, prop up the board up at a 90 degree angle (straight up and down). 
  • If you cut out differently-shaped holes, ask, “Which shape is the easiest to toss the bags through? Why do you think so?” 
  • Experiment with different ways of tossing the bean bags – overhand, underhand, over the shoulder while facing away from the board, or straight up into the air. Ask, “Which one of the tosses works best?”