A bean stick is simply a popsicle stick with 10 beans glued to it! Easy right? I love frugal teaching tools!
I decided to use tongue depressors with lima beans that I had spray painted green. To attach the beans I used white Elmer's glue. Hot glue would likely make a stronger hold but I wanted to do this project WITH my son, not FOR him. So I opted for the white glue so he could make these independently.
We will be using the bean sticks for counting, place value, adding & subtracting. I will post activities as we do them!
Extra beans that are spray painted on just one side will also be used as counters. We've been using these this past year to play a fun game called "bean toss addition". I will try to track down the link from Heidi Songs that has printables to go with the game!
One great resource to go with your bean sticks is the "Count Your Beans" mat that Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons has posted. (In the last week I have spent countless hours reading her blog. I even had dreams one night I was in her classroom!)
This other blog post by Fran explains how to use the mat: http://kindergartencrayons.blogspot.com/2011/05/count-your-beans.html