Today Krissy from B-Inspired Mama shares with us how she took the time to teach her children about bees and their importance to our world! She has such fun and simple ways to help kids investigate those tiny, but vital creatures. We hope you enjoy this wonderful post! If you would like to learn more on the bee population (both its importance and the dwindling numbers), please visit the link at the bottom of this post for resources.
So Why Are Bees Important? Do Your Kids Know?
Last week we took a picnic lunch outside to our play yard. I arranged the kids’ sandwiches, fruit and juices on their little picnic table while they ran around playing. They were having so much fun; I didn’t stress about having them eat right away. Eventually my Priscilla wandered over to have a bite, and then I heard the shriek, “BEES!” She was petrified of the few bees that were swirling around our little lunch. I realized that my kids had no idea of the importance of bees. And with Earth Day around the corner, what better time to learn the importance of bees in our ecosystem, right?! Here are some of the things we did and learned that day…
Tips for Teaching Kids About the Importance of Bees
- Stay Calm & Observe – First, I remained calm when my little one was scared of the bees. I realized that she was so scared of the bees that she wasn’t even able to observe or appreciate them. So I explained that bees, like most insects and animals, are more afraid of us than we are of them. And that sudden movements might scare and agitate them, so it’s important to stay calm around them. Once she calmed down, we were able to just watch them.
- Talk About Pollination – I asked the kids leading questions to see how much they already knew about bees: “Where do you usually see bees?” FLOWERS! “Why do bees like flowers?” NECTAR! “What happens when bees travel from one flower to another?” POLLINATION! Which led to discussion of how bees help to pollinate flowers and plants and are therefore an essential component to our ecosystem.
- Imaginative Bee Play – My imaginative Sawyer excitedly headed over to his sandbox to make a “bee hotel” to lure the bees from our lunch. He built a sand mound and added branches and colorful glass gems and flowers toys. While they played, I asked more leading questions: “What would attract the bees to your hotel?” FLOWERS! “What else?” BRIGHT COLORS! OTHER BEES! The only bee toy we had was a small yellow bee rock from our story rock collection. The colorful flower toys did attract a couple bees. Every time one came by Sawyer would exclaim, “We have a customer!”
- Bee Learning Online – When we came inside the kids gathered around the computer to learn more about bees. We found a bunch of videos on YouTube on the importance of bees and pollination. You can check them out via our Learning About Bees Playlist.
- A Honey Treat – While the kids watched the bee videos I threw some toast in the toaster for a quick honey treat. The kids loved squeezing the honey bear to make their own honey toast.
I hope these ideas can help you ease any fear of bees in your little ones and increase their understanding and appreciation of bees instead!
Krissy is a former art teacher turned homeschooling mama of 3. She can be found at B-Inspired Mama sharing inspiration for kids crafts, learning fun, family recipes, and creative parenting. You can also follow B-Inspired Mama on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
To find resources on the importance of bees, please visit an earlier post on the importance of raising eco-conscious kids.
Don’t forget to check out other great Earth Day guest posts by visiting the Ultimate Earth Day Education Guide!
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