Toddler Activity: Mining for Shapes


I’m always trying to come up with new things to do with Lucas during the day.  I browse Pinterest a lot and try and take what I find there and make it fit us.

I saw a super cute mining activity and thought it would be fun to try.  The site I found used gems with magnets and a magnetic pole to do the mining.  I didn’t have anything like that in my house, so we went “old-school”

Here is what you’ll need:

A small container

Dried black beans, I think I had 2lbs worth

Foam board (the kind you get at the craft store – I got a pack of 32 small squares for $0.98 at Walmart)

Tin foil

Things to mine with (we used kitchen tongs and some measuring cups)

If you’re feeling super adventurous and want to make a miners light you’ll need:

Construction paper


Part of a paper towel roll

Yellow crepe paper or tissue paper

I cut shapes out of the foam to make the gems we’d be mining for (we had green emeralds, “red” rubys, circle amethysts and diamonds).  I used the foil to make wrap around the diamond shape to make it shine.


A small container and some beans and we’ve got ourselves a coal mine!

Toddler Mining Activity

To make the hat I just used the construction paper to fit L’s head.  Then cut of a piece of the paper towel roll and added in the yellow “light.”  I wasn’t too sure L would wear his miner’s hat but he did and thought he was hot stuff in it!


I just kind of let him go to town trying to find all of the gems.  We ended up with a LOT of black beans on the floor but had a ton of fun in the process.


It was awesome to hear him identifying each shape and color (he’s super into diamonds right now so I knew he’d love that one).

This activity kept him occupied for a good 30 minutes.  I still have it put together and plan on bringing it out again when I need a few minutes to get some things accomplished!


What are you favorite activities to do with your little ones?  I’d love it if you’d share them below!


3 thoughts on “Toddler Activity: Mining for Shapes

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