Easter is coming up, and you’re likely to see one of our favorite seasonal candies everywhere you go– Jelly Beans! Jelly Beans contain plenty of fun and surprising flavors. However, you may not know that you can use them for surprisingly educational fun, too! Today’s activity features an easy way that you can use Jelly Beans to encourage your child’s creative and critical thinking skills as they come up with their own original Jelly Bean shapes and structures! In fact, the whole family will have a blast with this Fun Jelly Bean Structure Activity!
What You Need:
For this engineering-practice-in-disguise, you’ll only need two items:
- Jelly Beans
How to do it:
To do this activity, provide each child (or family member) with plenty of toothpicks and Jelly Beans and start building! There’s obviously a lot of creativity and flexibility involved with how you do this activity, so come up with some ideas that fit your children’s level/abilities and your families interests, too!
Tip for working with young kids: you’ll want to start off by showing them how they can connect a Jelly Bean to each end of a toothpick and then stick a toothpick into those two Jellybeans (and so on) to begin building basic shapes.
If you are working with younger kids, you may also want to start out seeing if your child can create very basic, two dimensional shapes, such as a: square, triangle, rectangle… circle (just kidding on that last one, talk about a mental challenge!)
If the basic shapes are already mastered, move on to three dimensional challenges! Can your child create a cube? How about a triangular prism? This is a great way to make geometry a little more fun, and help it stick, too (literally and metaphorically.)
And then, of course, you can move on to bigger and better challenges! Can your child/children build a house? A rocket? A Jelly Bean monster?!
And adults, this Jelly Bean Structure activity is not just for kids. In fact, we suggest getting the whole family involved in the process of creative engineering (and maybe enjoying a few sweet treats, too!) Here are a few fun Jelly Bean Structure Challenges that you could try as a family:
- Build your favorite animal.
- Make a Jelly Bean person.
- Create a whole FAMILY of Jelly Bean People.
- Recreate a famous recognizable structure (like the Empire State Building or Eiffel Tower).
- Build a replica of your house.
- Create a Jelly Bean Monster (why not!?)
Keep things non-competitive or hold a vote and declare a winner for your challenge! The prize? Jelly Beans, of course!
We hope that this Fun Jelly Bean Structure Activity will be a source of family fun for you and your family this spring! In addition to being a blast, this activity builds fine motor skills and hones creative and critical thinking skills, too! If you do this one at home, please drop a comment to let us know all about your family’s creations! Happy Easter!