- Families are using their backyards as a place to escape and explore. Bean tents provide a fun way to create a whimsical addition to any backyard.
- The tents are inexpensive, require only a few materials to make, and can be used as a learning opportunity for children.
- Most importantly, they make for a fun space for children to play.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The bean tent in Amy Woods’ backyard sometimes serves as a Nerf gun hideout, and other times, it’s a spooky story-time retreat.
With the help of branches, twine, and bean seeds, Woods and her family built a tent-like structure in their backyard.
“It’s a little whimsical thing,” she told Insider. “And it’s an awesome addition to the kids’ corner in the garden.”
Woods saw the idea on Pinterest, and her family built their first tent two years ago. This year, they built an even larger one.
Many bean varieties are typically grown in a tent-like structure, and some families have scaled it to new sizes, making tents large enough for kids, or adults, to play in.
Laura Mills stumbled on the idea when she was searching for kid-friendly garden projects
“I wanted them to have a place where they could have some shade and learn some things while they’re homeschooled during quarantine,” the mum of three told Insider.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t very difficult.
Her family completed the tent in an afternoon. She went to a garden store where they picked up PVC pipe, twine, and long bean seeds.
They already had an area picked out that had been cleared and tilled. From there, they stuck the 10 pipes into the soil and tied them up at the top. Her children were each given a roll of twine to wrap around the structure.
Seeds were planted and watered, and then all that was required was patience.
The family built the structure in early April, and the beans have since crawled up the twine to the top of the tent.
Mills said she hopes it will continue to fill in and produce beans.
“It gets us out of the house, in the sunshine,” she said. “And it gets my kids really interested in doing things.”
Builders can choose between bamboo stakes, PVC pipe, or tree branches to build their tents, and twine will help the plants climb up the structure and can be used to fill in gaps between poles.
Additionally, you can use other climbing plants, like ivy, nasturtiums, or sweet peas.
Overall, it’s an inexpensive project with fun results, Woods said.
Mills added that the project has provided some great learning opportunities for her two children
Her 4-year-old has practiced his counting and colours while creating the structure, and both kids learned how plants grow and the valuable role they play in our ecosystems.
From the excitement in the background of Mills’ call, it was clear her 4-year-old, Rowan, loved the project.
He was thrilled to share that he saw butterflies, moths, snakes, and other garden critters.
“They really liked it,” Mills said. “They actually want to do more gardening now.”
Find more specific instructions on how to build a bean tent here.
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