After a visit to family day at the Rochester Art Center, we got the idea to make mosaics with dried beans during the downtime while camping. It's pretty easy, loads of fun, and a good way to work on motor skills, creativity, color and contrast, and gluing skills.
While we definitely loved making mosaic art, what ended up being unexpectedly fun was simply putting together sets of colored beans.
I grabbed some craft paint (and a few colors from my collection of heavy body acrylics - I don't recommend that). We put some beans on a paper plate and I drizzled paint over them. Penny took a brush and used it to move the beans around until they were well coated.
We waited for the paint to get tacky and then I transferred the beans to another plate to dry. This just helps them stick less to the plate, but it would probably be okay to scrape them off after they dry on the first plate.
You could also work faster by putting the beans in a baggie and coating them in paint like using Shake and Bake on a pork chop.
When we had a nice collection of colors using two bags of beans, I put them (after they're dry) into bags and packed them with a few sheets of thick paper and Mod Podge for the trip. It turned out to be a great activity for camping, easy to set up on a picnic table for kids and adults to enjoy.