National Jelly Bean Day
National Jelly Bean Day is always celebrated on April 22nd. Jelly beans have been around since at least the Civil War! In the 1860’s, candy-makers advertised that family members should send gifts of jelly beans to their soldiers. And what a great gift to send – unlike chocolate, jelly beans do not melt in warm weather!
What could be sweeter than learning more about jelly beans (pun intended)? I found a great video on YouTube called How It’s Made – 303 Jelly Beans (I don’t know what the “303” means.), which shows the process of making jelly beans from start to finish. It fun to watch, but I’m pretty sure that if you have your kids watch this video, they are going to want some jelly beans, themselves. I recommend buying a bag in advance of National Jelly Bean Day in preparation for your celebration! I also want to warn you that if you yourself love jelly beans, you might want to eat your own share before you watch the video – you might not want to eat jelly beans after watching the video. While watching, my brain was telling me something like, “Start with high fructose corn syrup. Add corn starch. Add sugar. Add corn starch. Add high fructose corn syrup. Add corn starch. Add sugar. Add wax.” Seriously, the process is something like that. I find it easier to eat sugary treats when I don’t think too much about what is in them…
When you open your brand-new bag of shiny, glossy, colorful jelly beans, pour them into a bowl on the table with the children seated around the table. Start by having each child take one jelly bean of each color, and have them take note of how many colors are in the bag. Then let each child tell which color of jelly bean their favorite color of jelly bean is. It might also be fun to talk about other flavors of jelly bean that exist. I know, for example, there is a company that makes flavors like popcorn, root beer and jalapeño. If you have only one student, it can be fun to sort the jelly beans and find out how many of each color the bag contains. You can also have your student use the jelly beans as counters during math, or have them make pictures on the tabletop by arranging the colors, like red for bricks and black for shingles and make a house.
It is always nice to do unexpected things to make a fun school day. I hope you enjoyed these ideas for how to celebrate National Jelly Bean Day.
Diana Malament homeschooled three children over a span of 27 years. She homeschooled with financial limitations, and when times were less difficult. She has homeschooled through many good times and many challenging times. Diana hopes to encourage you on your homeschool journey.