I saw this idea for making mosaics out of dried beans in Family Fun Magazine last fall. I thought it looked like something my kids would enjoy.
In the magazine they use specialty paper that is all sticky. We opted for cereal box cardboard and glue instead. For our beans (and non-beans) I just got a scoop or so of 7 or 9 bean soup mix from the bulk bin. I had dried kidney beans and lentils left over from another project and the popcorn - well, that was taken out of our regularly used supply.
To help give them a guideline of something to follow, I drew out a requested shape for each boy on his cardboard. In the original version they are more free-form, which would be perfect for older kids..
There are sort of 2 gluing methods. The first is to just draw a line of glue,
and then place your bean (popcorn).
The other method is more for filling larger areas at a time. You just put the glue all over where you want it and then pour handfuls of beans on top. You can tilt the picture to get the excess off.
As we work my very busy 16 month old wanted to participate. I gave her a bowl of the kidney beans to play with. She immediately tried to eat and got very mad about when I kept taking them away from her mouth and telling her no, so watch out for that. Once we got past that, she was very happy to just place them onteh cardboard strip I gave her. Eventually I got her a second bowl so she could fill that up.
Be warned, a 16 month old playing with beans is going to make a mess!
My older son only wanted to make an outline instead of filling it all in. I love just letting them do it their way instead of being such a boss (hard to do sometimes!). He loved how is oak leaf turned out.
My younger son did not want to do this project at all at first, but he got into it, resulting in this little yellow bird.
Have fun making your own bean mosaics!