Gardening with Kids: Bean Tipi

Whether you’re in a postage stamp sized yard, or a pastoral acreage, creating outdoor nooks and play spaces is a simple and affordable way to add some magic to your children’s time in the yard.

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You’ll need:
  • 6 bamboo poles, 6 feet tall (or other type of tall poles)
  • twine
  • bean seeds or plants (or those of another type of plant such as morning glory or black eyed susan vine)
How to make the bean tipi:
  • Choose a place in the yard where there won’t be a lot of competition from grass, or dig up some grass and save yourself from a bit of mowing. Push the poles into the ground, angling them up toward the centre. Leave a bit more space between two of the poles to use as an entry way. Note that our tipi is not a traditional tipi shape – we were growing beans on the fence behind, and wanted to use that as the back wall, so only used four poles this year.
  • Once all the poles are in, gather the tops and use the twine to tie them together.
  • Tie a piece of twine to the top, and then zig zag around the poles, creating more surface area for the vines to grow up. The kids can help decide on a pattern and get involved in the action.
  • Plant your bean seeds or seedlings at the base of the poles, amending with compost. Mark with plant markers or popsicle sticks to keep them safe as they grow.
  • Now and then it can speed things along a bit to help the plants find the next ‘rung’ on the path up the tipi.


Our kids spend literally hours in their tipi, with a blanket laid out nicely on the ground to sit on, a small table (old shoe rack – I love how they realized that and happily tucked their shoes on the bottom shelf) for snacking on, and a handful of toys. Even the cat couldn’t resist this cozy little nook in the yard…

An added bonus: built in healthy snacks dangling right in front of the kids!

We’d love to see photos of your bean tipi or other special garden play nook. Attach a link in the comments!

bean tipi 7bean-tipi-snack-time

bean tipi 6



This post was shared as a part of Thank Goodness Its Monday.



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