Yes, some of my beans have letters written on them. I thought this was such a fun idea that I had to share it. I want to have the whole alphabet several time, but right now I just wrote down the six letters that Martin knows (before you think, "oldest child syndrome" and roll your eyes, let me explain, Martin brought me a book one day and pointed to the O and kept saying "O O O O". So I decided to ask him to find Os in other book. He did so well at that so I started adding on letters. I am not pushing it at all. I add a letter in every two weeks or so. Anyhow, he thinks it is a fun game and I don't see a reason to stop him. He doesn't know his colors yet. And he knows very few shapes. It all balances out in the end).
We have been sorting the beans into bowls, which also have a card with a letter on them. I saw this idea on The Imagination Tree blog. She uses muffin liners with each letter written on it for the sorting containers. It is a great cheap way of working on letters and sorting. A bag of beans is about $1 and I have several sharpies around the house already. I might do the smaller letters in a different color. She also made beans in various colors for her girls to sort... Maybe I should make those so he can learn his colors.
Martin loves playing with the beans. We will have to be more careful with them once Warren starts crawling. I know it is time to put them away when Martin starts to throw them. He is very predictable. He throws a fit or starts whining right before nap time and he runs into things and acts really goofy right before bed. I am thankful that he is easy to read.