Last year as springtime drew near, I found an awesome way to celebrate the start of the season with my kids -- planting jelly beans that magically turn into lollipop flowers overnight -- that I couldn't wait to try.
As happens with many of my enthusiastic ideas, I did not pull this one off as well as I'd hoped, but the kids loved it and the activity was a sweet and simple way to celebrate spring.
Step 1: Hand your kids some jelly beans and have them drop the beans into a tin filled with soil.
Dinner was over when I remembered my plan, so I hurriedly gave my two daughters a handful of jellybeans while ushering them outside. I explained they were magic beans that, once planted, grow into a special surprise to welcome the first day of spring. We quickly dug a little hole, and covered them up.
Step 2: When the kids are safely away, swap the Jelly Beans for fun spring lollipops. If you have the extra time, try giving your lollipops a real flower look. And whatever you do, DO NOT unwrap the lollipops. More on that below.
After getting them to bed, I remember I need to make the magic happen with a miniature field of lollipop flowers. Not wanting to worry about it early in the morning, I go to make the switch, but unfortunately, I forgot to buy the lollipops I'd really wanted when I had picked up the Jelly Beans.
This is how I ended up sticking months-old Dum-Dum suckers in our backyard in my pajamas at 9 p.m. on the last day of winter.
Despite the setback, the girls enjoyed finding the sad, little lollipop garden the next morning until they realized they weren't allowed to eat any because the suckers were sticky with dew and grass and who knows what else. In my haste, I had unwrapped the suckers as I stuck them in the ground. Fail.
The magic of Jelly Beans turned lollipops is made to be a spring tradition, one I knew I had to make worth keeping.
After that first miserable attempt, I now gather my supplies early.
I opt for small buckets filled with dirt this time so we don't have to venture into the yard. They can sit on our back porch, and the handles make for easy transport inside should I forget to leave the lollipops wrapped.
I splurge on gourmet variety jelly beans mostly to make the activity feel special, but partly because I can stash the leftovers to indulge my sweet tooth later.
I make sure to have big, colorful lollipops on hand. Again, they are gourmet-style with bonus points for clear cellophane wrappers that lets the candy colors shine!
This spring activity for kids is one of the easiest to recreate at home and will go a long way at getting the kids excited for the season!