When Olivia was a baby I saw a commercial around Easter time for kids to plant jelly beans outside and then the garden grows into an outdoor Easter basket. We have been doing this garden for the last few years and it has become my favorite tradition. For me, it’s a sure sign that spring is coming. It’s really simple and you can do as much or a little as you want. Olivia is getting pretty good at planting it by herself. Below the 5 steps to create the garden.
Get your jelly beans ready. You can use any brand or flavor you want, it doesn’t make a difference. We usually plant the black ones because we don’t like them. This year she wanted to plant all the colors. Whatever makes your life easier! I usually pour some in a bowl for her, for 2 reasons, she’ll use a whole bag if I don’t ration them and it keeps her from putting her dirty fingers into the bag.
Next, you plant them. This can be done a few ways depending on how many kids are planting and how old they are. You can place them on the soil and have the kids push them down, this was our favorite when she was really little. Now that she’s a little older she will dig a hole and plant it like a regular seed. Whatever is easiest and gets them to have the most fun. We usually plant them a week or two before Easter. For us, it completely depends on the weather and our schedule.
Their last step is to water. This just makes it more authentic to me, but it’s kinda what we do for a living. You can decide if you want to water or not. This step just gets them in the habit of watering things after they plant them. I usually give Olivia a watering can filled with the amount of water I want to deal with.
This is a critical step for the adult! Someone needs to buy things to put in the garden Easter morning. You can spend as much or as little on this part as you want. I usually try to find carrot or garden themed candies or toys to be sprouting up. I will also use plastic eggs for some jelly beans or other candy. I have a handful of decorative styrofoam eggs and other little decorations to fill in some space too. I save the plastic eggs and decorations to reuse from year to year. A general rule of thumb here is if it’s making you crabby, you are doing too much. Keep it light. This should be fun for you too. As long as something “grew” in the garden you are winning!
This is the most important part and my absolute favorite. READY… Make the memory. That’s really why you did this right? Easter morning soak in the squeals and laughter and the “OH WOWS”. This step is the one that makes staying up a little later or getting up a little earlier to tend to the garden totally worth it. The kids aren’t going to notice if all the jelly beans they planted turned into something, they will just be amazed that it something “grew”. So enjoy your coffee and let yourself slow down a little and absorb that moment. Check out a video here of Olivia finding her garden a few years ago.
There really is no right or wrong way to plant the garden. It’s just a fun thing for the kids to do. Some years, if I am really getting into it, I will remind her to go water it and check on the garden. For us, it’s usually the first garden we plant of the season. I use it as a means to get her excited about gardening. It also gives her something the be responsible for.
I have some small easter tins at the store. They would be great for a small indoor garden. Like I said you can do as much or as little as you want. If this is your first year (and since are still talking about snow) you might go the smaller indoor route. Otherwise, you can plant outside in a pot or in a garden bed- whatever you have available.
I hope you find this to be a new, fun tradition for you and your littles. Happy Easter!
Don’t forget that our Kids in the Garden series starts April 14th!