March 21, 2017 12:45 by april
Spring has officially arrived, which means there will soon be lots of insects buzzing and flying around. Most of these insects (except for butterflies) are seen as annoying pests or are feared by children and adults alike. The bumblebee is an insect that people generally try to avoid because they don't want to get stung, but the bumblebee plays a significant role in our world as a pollinator. This is because bumblebees are strong flyers that have the unique ability to help plants produce more fruit by vibrating flowers until they release pollen (National Wildlife Federation). As an educator, you can use the spring season as an opportunity to teach children that bumblebees aren't something to be feared. Be sure to include one (or all) of the cute bumblebee crafts featured below in your lesson plans!
Did You Know?
- There are over 250 types of bumblebees in the world!
- Bumblebees are generally bigger than other bees and are covered with thick, fuzzy-looking hair.
- Once you're sure the bee you're looking at is a bumblebee, you can look at the bumblebee's tail to determine what type of bumblebee it is. You can also check for pollen on the bumblebee's legs to determine if it is a male or female bee.
- Bumblebees are in danger. With wildflowers disappearing in rural areas, bumblebees are losing their food source (the nectar and pollen made inside of flowers).
- You can help save bumblebees by planting bee-friendly flowers in your gardens at home and at school from early spring until autumn.
Source: Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Fabric Square Bee Craft
This spring art activity is fun for children of any age. Children can choose to trace and color the letter "B" onto the fabric squares, or they can come up with their own bee design.
What to Do:
- Trace the letter "B" onto the Muslin Fabric Squares. If this part of the activity is developmentally appropriate for the children in your care, have them do this part.
- Ask children to color in the letter "B" with a bumblebee pattern. They can add wings to the bumblebee-themed letter if they would like.
- An alternative idea would be for children to draw a bee on the Muslin Fabric Squares and decorate it as they deem fit.
Model Magic Bee Craft
This fun modeling craft helps children create art with their hands. Children work on their fine motor skills as they roll out Model Magic and shape the different parts of bumblebees.
Tip: If you don’t have black Model Magic, mix your primary colors to get a dark gray/black color.
What to Do:
- Have children shape the bodies of their bees with yellow Model Magic.
- Roll out a few pieces of black Model Magic to form the bee’s stripes, stinger, mouth, and eyes.
- Use black pipe cleaners or black Model Magic to make the bee’s legs and antenna.
- Let children's creations dry for a day or two before displaying them in the classroom or letting children to take them home.
- Alternative ideas include using a black marker to make the bee’s stripes and white Model Magic to make its wings and eyes.
Foam Bee Card Craft
Children can share a sweet message with the important people in their lives by creating this cute bee card.
What to Do:
- Ask children to cut out the shape of a bee body from the black foam sheet. Depending on their age, children may need a guide or template to help them cut out the shape of a bee.
- Place the bee body on the yellow piece of foam, and cut out a rectangle around the body. Cut out yellow strips from the rectangle, shape them to fit the bee’s body, and glue them on to make stripes for the bee.
- Glue on the googly eyes and a mouth made from the yellow foam sheet (optional).
- Fold the white construction paper in half, and then glue the bee to the front of the card. Children can draw and color in the bee’s wings on the construction paper.
- Personalize the cards with sweet messages! “Bee Mine” and “You Are Bee-autiful” are just two examples.
Be sure to check out our other spring-related blog posts and I&I articles:
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