I had never heard of this idea before but I decided to have some fun with my girls yesterday and start a new Easter tradition.
The idea is that you “plant” jelly beans in the garden/grass and check back awhile later and see what has bloomed. A few hours or a day later you can stick a treat into the ground and say they bloomed from the magic jelly beans!
So the idea is to talk to your kiddos about magic jelly beans. Every family might have a different approach to this- rather than simply giving the kid’s candy it can be nice to try and incorporate a learning opportunity.
For our family, being kind and respectful to one another is a major topic these days. All week, I kept mentioning to them that if they were kind to each other and respectful to Mommy and Daddy the Easter bunny would drop off some magic beans.
(Update: This year we are discussing gratitude. I explained that if the Easter bunny hears them complaining he won’t bring the magic jelly beans to our house. :) )
I told them we can plant the magic beans in the grass and if they are very, very good girls a magic surprise would grow!
Here are the steps that I did for this little activity.
Note I seriously did all this in like 10 minutes, so if you have more time available you can probably do a much better job than I did.
STEP 1: I asked mygirls to check for packages when we got home and she opened the door to find a little plastic Easter egg. I told them the Easter Bunny must have dropped it off. Inside I had 5 jelly beans- you can certainly do more or less.
(If your husband has eaten the bag of jelly beans you bought plus the back up bag of jelly beans you bought in case he ate the bag of jelly beans… well you can use fruit snacks, M&Ms or really whatever you have on hand.)
I explained to the girls that we needed to go out to the front yard and “plant” the jelly beans.
STEP 2: So we just sprinkled the beans in the front yard. I kept track of how many beans I used so that I could be sure to pick them all up once they “bloomed”. (Yes my children would have no problem picking up those beans and putting them right in their mouth so I nipped that one in the bud.)
This was very exciting for everyone, including the dog who came out to supervise. Before you go outside you might want to be very clear with the kiddos that they can’t eat those jelly beans ;). They need to “plant” them for an even bigger surprise.
STEP 3: During dinner, I slipped outside and tied ribbon to a skewer and stabbed some poor little Peeps to make marshmallow flowers. I decided to use Peeps just because the kids love them and they are so bright and colorful.
You can do as many or as few as you like.
STEP 4: Come out to check the garden!
So after dinner, I told the girls they better go check the garden and see if anything bloomed. They found the little Peeps flowers and they were both really excited.
My 2 year old was a little baffled by the entire thing but my 4 year old has watched Puss in Boots several times and so she was very interested in the entire process. (Puss in Boots has magic beans too.)
So overall this was really fun and like I said, it literally just took a few minutes to do.
Does anyone else plant magic beans? We’d love to hear how you customize this activity for your family!
Update: The kids talked about this for MONTHS after so this was totally successful in my book.
Update 2 years later: Kids look forward to this every year now and my hope is that they keep these little magical and silly things as memories of childhood for their entire lives.