Growing Tree of Beanbags

Basic Activity Info

Activity Type: 

  • Physical
Age Group: 
6-9 yrs
9-12 yrs
13+ yrs
Time Requirement: 

Group Size: 

  • Large Group
  • Medium Group
  • Pair
  • Small Group

Play Area: 

  • Gymnasium (large indoor space)
  • Outdoor - Field

Fundamental Skills: 

  • Balance
  • Run

Participants balance beanbags on the back of their hand that their partner's collect.


Tennis Balls
Rope or pylons

Set Up: 

Participants get into pairs.
One participant will start as the beanbag tree and the other will start as the collector. 
All beanbag trees will start just behind a rope or pylon and with their partner next to them.
Scatter beanbags around 20 feet in front of the beanbag trees.

Step by Step: 
  1. The goal for the beanbag tree is to balance the set amount of beanbags on the back of one of their hands with beanbags on top and step over the rope or in front of the pylon.
  2. Optional that beanbag trees stand in a hoop and they have to step out of the hoop.
  3. Each round, the amount of beanbags that need to be balanced will increase.
  4. For the first round, the collectors will run to the beanbags, collect one and run back to their beanbag tree.
  5. The beanbag trees will be standing with one arm outstretched and the back of the hand facing up (palm facing down), the other hand will be holding onto the tennis ball.
  6. The collector will place the beanbag on the back of beanbag tree's hand.
  7. Then they will take the tennis ball from their other hand and place it on top of the beanbag.
  8. The tree will then take a step over the rope or in front of the pylon.
  9. The last pair to complete this, is either out or gets a letter of a pre-determined word (tree, bean, grow, run, seed and so on). When a pair spells the word, they are out. 
  10. Next round, the tree and collector switch roles.
  11. This time, the tree will need to balance two beanbags, however a collector can only collect one beanbag at a time. So they will collect a beanbag, place it on the back of the tree's hand, then run to collect another beanbag, run back and place it on top of the other beanbag. Place the tennis ball on top and the tree will step over the line or in front of the pylon. 
  12. If at anytime a beanbag falls off, then the collector has to bring the beanbag(s) that fell off back to the scattered beanbags and select new ones and run back with them (this is the only time they're allowed to bring more than one beanbag back at once).
  13. If the tennis ball falls off before they complete their step forward, then they take a step backwards and the tennis ball gets put back on and they take their step again. 
  14. Or if a beanbag falls off or if the tennis ball falls off, they get a letter or are out. 
  15. Next round will be three beanbags and partners will switch roles again.
Safety Considerations: 

Remove any safety hazards and obstacles from the activity area.
Remind participants to be aware of their surroundings and to keep their head up.

Adaptations (General): 

Do not include a tennis ball. When the set amount of beanbags are balanced, the tree will take their step forward.
The collector will run and collect one beanbag at a time and place it next to the tree, but they don't balance the beanbags until they have collected the set amount of beanbags.
Have participants hold their arms out with their palms facing up.


Developed for the Leisure Information Network.