Colorful swirled large lollipop
Activity

Lollipop garden activities

Grow a lollipop garden from jellybean seeds, learn about the parts of a flower and create a slideshow or digital book!

Spring is the air! What a perfect time to learn about how plants grow! 

This fun activity is an Easter tradition but can be a simple spring activity and not associated with Easter. This activity can be done overnight (2 days) or over a period of several days. 

Planting a lollipop garden activity

Day 1: Give each student three jellybeans to plant. Encourage the young children to carefully dig little holes and “plant” a jellybean “seed” in each hole. Talk about what plants need to grow (soil, sun and water). Sprinkle water over the planted jellybeans. Ask the students to guess what kind of food the jellybean seeds will turn into. Be sure to take pictures throughout the process to be used in creating a slide presentation or book of the activity.

Hint: You can plant the seeds in a pot filled with dirt.

Day 2: If growing the plants over several days, come back the next day and add a pinch of “fertilizer”. Use white sugar as the fertilizer. Discuss how only a little fertilizer is needed – in this case, a pinch a day. (Sugar is a better option than glitter, as the jelly beans are growing “candy”.) Sprinkle with water again as needed. 

Day 3: When the students are not around, sneak out and plant the “stems” above two of the three planted jellybeans for each student. (Make the stems by cutting off the white lollipop sticks; make 2 stems for each student.) Water and fertilize if needed.

Hint: For a greater surprise and sense of awe, let the students go out and find the growing garden on their own (without prompting them to check the garden).

Day 4: When the students are not around, sneak out and replace the 2 stems per student with normal wrapped lollipops. Add one stem for the seed that did not yet sprout. The students may harvest their lollipops. Try watering and fertilizing the last sprout. Do you think it might be a late bloomer?

Day 5: When the students are not around, sneak out and replace the last stems with large lollipops! Discuss how this plant needed an extra day with more sunshine, water and fertilizer in order to grow so big!

You can do various variations to meet your timeframe. Example: Water and fertilize on Day 1 and lollipops grow overnight. You can also plant the seeds in the morning and water/fertilize in the afternoon.

Jellybean Easter egg hunt

Another variation to the lollipop garden is to have the students find the “magic” jellybeans inside a plastic Easter egg during an Easter egg hunt. These magic jellybeans are then used to plant the lollipop garden. If desired, use a jellybean shaped Easter egg and prompt the students before the hunt that this is a magical egg that should be opened as a group. Having “magic” jellybeans is a great answer when students ask to grow another lollipop garden, as the lollipops only grown from magic jellybeans!

Books and songs about plants

In class, read books about growing plants. 

Sing songs about growing plants. Here is a favorite preschool song/video, the Gardening Song by CoComelon:

Parts of a plant activity and worksheet

If possible, use a real plant that has roots, stem, leaf, and petals, as young students with visual impairments benefit from hands-on exploration with real items. A daffodil is a good spring flower choice, as it is a fairly sturdy plant that can withstand little hands touching the various parts. If a real plant is not available, use a plastic flower. If the plastic flower does not have roots, create and add roots made out of string or yarn. Use a piece of masking tape to wrap around each part of the flower (fold the masking tape back over itself so that the sticky part is covered) and place a corresponding braille label on top of the masking tape. Allow the student to feel the various parts of the flower while naming each part. 

Young students are learning to transfer knowledge from real objects to 2-dimensional drawings. Create a raised line version of the Parts of a Flower worksheet. Download the attached worksheet and print it on Swell paper and run it through a tactile graphics machine such as a PIAF or Swell machine. If you do not have access to a tactile graphics machine, then download the worksheet and create a raised line image using glue or puff paint or by using tools from a tactile graphics kit. Create braille labels that the student can adhere to the Parts of a Flower worksheet.

Original Parts of a Flower worksheet:

Labeling the Parts of a Flower worksheet with roots, stem, leaf and petal.

Attachments

Lollipop garden slide presentation or digital book

Depending on the age and tech skills of your students, create a slide presentation or digital book about the lollipop garden. There are several options for creating a slide presentation or digital book:

Note: Mainstream National Technology Standards dictate that students are introduced to creating simple presentations in kindergarten or first grade with mastery of advanced slide presentation skills by the end of third grade. Before the student is introduced to creating presentations, the student should be familiar with accessing presentations.

Resources

By Diane Brauner

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