“Are bean bags filled with beans?”

Sometimes. It depends on the size, because dried beans can get pretty heavy.

Small homemade bean bags (the kind used for toys) can be filled with sand, beans, rice, wheat berries, or buckwheat hulls*, while larger bean bags (the kind used as chairs) are filled with much lighter materials, like packing peanuts, clean plastic bags, bubble wrap, and polyester fiber fill.

Commercial bean bags are commonly filled with polystyrene beads, although more ecologically sound fill options, such as shredded foam and buckwheat hulls*, are also available.

*Be warned: Stuffing your bean bag with beans, rice, wheat berries, and buckwheat hulls has the distinct disadvantage of making your hand-crafted bean bag a handy food storage device for insects, mice, and other pests.

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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