Observations On Field Trips at the Jelly Belly Factory

July 30, 2007 at 11:32 am (Uncategorized)

Another place we visited while we were on vacation was The Jelly Belly Factory.  We have been to The Jelly Belly Factory about a zillion times.  We lived about 40 minutes from it for 9 years!  Sometimes I wonder why the kids never get tired of going there…Then I am reminded that they are kids and it is a candy factory!  LOL 

This is my favorite photo stop at the factory! I literally have pics of the kids growing up in front of this wall!

Here the kids are with our friedns we went with.  (My frined Faye and her husband and oldest son.)

The Governator in mosaic, made from Jelly Belly’s!  (They have a ton of art made from Jelly Belly’s.  They are incredibly well done!)

Of course we had to get a Jelly Belly shaped pizza for lunch!

Finally…the moment we have all been waiting for…Eating a Jelly Belly!  YUM!!! (My favorite is Buttered Popcorn.  Sour Peach is a close second in my book!)

This time was way busier than when we have been there in the past. Probably because we went on a Friday in Summer?  There were a TON of kids there on field trips with child care camps.  We stood in line for over an hour and then when we got sorted off into a group we happened to have twenty eight 3 & 4 year olds in our group!  They were a Summer Camp Group from a YMCA in San Fransisco.  (They were wearing yellow t-shirts stating so.) I must admit at first I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of going through the factory with all these little ones.  (There were also about 20 other people in our group, which has been the more normal group size I have seen in the past.) But as we all started heading into the factory the 4 YMCA Counselors held the kids to the back and let everyone else go first.  The first thing I will say is that these 4 Couselors had those 28 kids really under control.  All the kids were assigned to a partner that they held hands with throughout the tour.  (Seemed like a good idea to me.  I am guessing 2 kids are less likely to wander off than one?) Now, since I have been on this tour so many times I turned my attention to the little kids in the group.  I have never been on a non-homeschool field trip before and I have to say this was quite different than what I am use to.

Here are a couple things I noticed:

1. While keeping the group of kids at the back was nice for the rest of the group…it was not the optimal viewing area for the wee ones.  The kids had 1 little window to look through and out of the 28 kids only the 6-8 fastest and strongest could really see what was going on.  (Survival of the fittest?)

2. When the kids asked questions they were told to "watch the video" by the well meaning Counselors.  This kept the kids quiet, but as a homeschool Mom I hated to see them not getting the answers to there questions when they asked them.  I also doubt they asked them again later.  That’s just how kids are, they live in the moment. Even if they do ask questions later Mom and Dad were not on the field trip and may or may not know the answers.

3.  When your in a big group no one is pointing out the things that really interest you. I realized that while were  went through I made sure to hold my 3 year up so he could see the mechanical robot they use in shipping. (I knew that would be his favorite part!) I also made sure to point out a thank you note I saw hanging in a display case written in braille.  My 6 year old is all interested in braille right now.  I made sure my 12 year old saw the mosaic of the Governator since I knew he would like it.  These kind of things make the kids feel connected to the field trip. 

4.  Kids in camp get a lot packed into their day!  I overheard one of the counselors telling a kid "When we get back to San Fransisco you are all going to go swimming."  I thought "Wow, I my kids would not have the energy to go swimming after driving all this way, standing in line an hour, eating a ton of candy and driving all the way home."  My kids were pretty much done for the day when we got back to my friends house.  We ate dinner and lounged around until bedtime.

Don’t get me wrong I think it is great that these little guys get to go on fun field trips.  I just could not help but notice the differences.  One of the things I love most about homeschooling is the privilege of taking my kids out into the world and learning along side them.  I am glad we have those times together.  I am glad I was there and can answer the questions as they arise.  I am glad I can hold them up and a make sure they can see.  I am glad I get to point out things that excite them.  I am glad they are making the memories and holding the hands of their siblings.  I am glad we homeschool!



  1. mamaduso said,

    I loved the Jelly Belly factory. I grew up in Santa Rosa so when we went to visit my parents we took the kids. It was a blast. I am glad I homeschool to. I would hate for my kids to experience fieldtrips amongst 30 other kids.

  2. Leigh2 said,

    Love the pictures! I've noticed some of the same things when we go on field trips…I always feel sorry for the public school groups.

  3. msack said,

    My son has always wanted to go there. We live in GA so we have had to settle for the online tour 😦 !

    I'm getting ready to try my own home' cool bleach shirt! I can't wait to see how they turn out!

  4. 4sweetums said,

    WOW! I wish we had a jelly bean factory near us! We went to the coca cola factory last year in GA and the kids had a blast. Everyday I feel so blessed to be a homeschooling mom!

  5. Anonymous said,

    I recently learned you can order "belly flops" from the jelly belly outlet – so I did. :^) They are weird shapes and such, but taste just fine. Did you buy any while on the factory tour?

    Tricia from PAM

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