While I am aware that bean bags have been around for ages and are in no way a new idea, let me tell you about my little bean bag girl. I have a five-year-old with disabilities; she is funny, energetic, and busy. She loves to throw and chew and is kind of a toddler in this way. We have broken many a Christmas ornament because she thought it was a ball. And nothing is safe from her little teeth.
So I decided to make her some bean bags; bean bags that are machine-washable and little hand sized. (On a side-note they turned out to be a great size for juggling.) Plastic pellets make the bean bags washable (thanks for the tip, Elizabeth.) You can find plastic pellets at most craft stores. I used a high-quality quilter's cotton, because I know the abuse they will take. Prewash the fabric so they won't shrink when you wash them later.
To start out you need:
Scrap fabric, a sewing machine, plastic pellets, scissors, measuring tape.
Cut out squares of fabric, mine are 4" x 4"
Match up two squares, right sides facing each other.
And sew 1/4" from the edge, almost all the way around.
Leave about 1 1/2" opening to turn them right side out.
Clip the corners, with out clipping through the stitching.
Turn right side out, push the corners out with a chopstick or dull pencil.
Iron them if you want.
Use a little helper to fill the bean bags. I used a small funnel, but you can easily make one with piece of paper rolled into a cone.
I would also suggest working over a towel so the pellets don't bounce onto the floor. Fill the bags about 3/4 full, for me that was 1/3 cup.
Pin the opening closed to keep the contents from spilling out.
Sew straight across open edge.
And you're done. Little bean bags for little hands.
Throw to your hearts content, little one.