Thursday, June 22, 2023

Meant to Bean


Happy Thursday!

The summer season is about great gardens, cool salads, ice cream and outdoor fun!

Today's post is about BEAN BAGS!  It doesn't matter how athletic one is, most people can play this game.  Growing up, there always seemed to be a bean bag game set up at each and every picnic we attended.  The game's origin appears to have gone back to the 1880s.  Since then, there have been lots of variations and now some people, particularly in the south, refer to the game as "cornhole".

Most of the games I remember were of the homemade variety.  But the instruments of the game were sold pre-made as far back as the early 20th century.



My favorite photo of the game was an image of boys playing bean bags in Beantown:


But bean bags were also made into toys for children.  Not the kind for the hole in wood game but lovable characters; beans were used instead of stuffing.

Frugal homemakers often made their own bean bag toys and there were lots of pattern offered through the decades.  Long before the smiley face emoji, women made bean bag toys with happy faces like the one below from 1928:

Pattern for stuffed or bean filled pig



The Workbasket magazine offered circular whimsical patterns that could be used for potholders or bean bags.  You can see the pattern here on page 2.

My mother made bean bag toys for my kid brother.  They were in the shape of a frog and another in a turtle and she dutifully filled them with beans.  She might have used this pattern.  It was offered in 1971 and fits the time for my brother to play with them:

There is always a naysayer, a cantankerous grinch who wants to ruin everyone's fun.  A headline from 1934 illustrated such a person:  

Maybe the park commissioner never felt the joy of playing bean bags.  Maybe he just needed to be gifted an hilarious bean bag.

And that brings me to my very favorite bean bag design. It combined another interesting thing that fascinated my siblings and me:  JUMPING BEANS!  Every time I see this pattern, I laugh!


Tomorrow is Flower Friday and we have a special surprise feature as well from Sue.  If you would like to show us your flowers, email photos to

Wishing you a joyful day!

No comments:

Post a Comment