BEE-aware. I take that to ❤️
I am very eco-aware. So I do everything I can to make my garden as environmentally-friendly as possible. That means:
• I compost regularly;
• Pesticides are never applied; and
• I provide for and support wildlife by
—–· planting appropriate flowers, trees and bushes
—–· installing water sources, and
—–· including places for shelter.
WHY? Well, 1st because we only have one planet Earth. 2nd, taking care of Mother Nature really means I’m taking care of me and those I love.
Getting children involved in taking care of Mother Nature, and explaining why it’s so important, I believe, will insure future environmentalists.
Did you know BEES are important to the ecosystem? They are the world’s biggest, natural pollinators. Next time you’re outside watch how they flit from flower to flower. See how the pollen collects on their legs!
You might be tempted to catch one, but if you do I’d Bee-Careful!
I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee
Oh I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee
Won’t my Mommy be so proud of me!
Cause I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee….
OUCH! It stung me..
As a yoga teacher, I know how focusing on the breath can still the mind. A regular, mindfulness practice is another activity that can be introduced and shared with children. And that’s just the point of the book by Frank J Sileo PhD.
Bee Still: An Invitation to Meditation
Bentley, the main character, is a honeybee who assists others creatures in the forest to “BEE” present; to find an inner calmness and peace through his meditation practice. Children have a lot of stress and expectations foisted upon them nowadays. Having a non-pharmaceutical way to address that stress is a wonderful gift!
NOTE: The number of worker bees, in a beehive, are overwhelmingly female bees. To learn more about honeybees…
Being a Bee by Jinny Johnson and Lucy Davey
It’s chock-full of facts and figures about the life of bees. This is a delightful book perfect for children preschool to early elementary age. It’s a beautiful and informative book that’ll educate them on the critical need to BEE serious in our efforts to take care of bees but will do so in positive (vs frightening) ways. The simple illustrations do a great job of emphasizing the different aspects of bees.
One fact that stunned me: It takes about 10 million trips out from a beehive to make a bottle of honey! Which leads me to our first activity…
Note: I received Being a Bee for review from PetersonsBooks.
Enrich the PLAY: Taste Test Honey, A Science Experiment
The taste and color of honey is dependent on the type of flower blossoms honey bees visit. The honey from each of these flowers below would be unique in its taste and color.
Special honey bees take the nectar they get from flowers back to their beehive and deposit it into the honeycomb. Here other bees, with a different function take over. Learn more about the amazing work bees do to create honey here.
When you learn about what all those little honey bees do amazing is an understatement!
So, let’s celebrate the honeybee! Let your kiddo experience the wide range of flavors and see the variety colors by sampling several types of honey.
Plate, Knife, Napkin
(4) different varieties of honey. For example,
• Clover (this is the most common in the US)
• Orange blossom
• Pour a glass of milk–tell your kiddo they can take a drink at any time during the taste test
• Explain to your kidlet, they’ll be trying (4) different types on honey on (4) pieces of toast. Point out they’ll have to use their memory skills to remember which honey tasted best to them. If you have more than one child, you can tally up the votes for an overall taste winner.
• Toast a slice of bread
• Cut toast in half
• Place halves on plate
• Choose 2 types of honey
• Spread on type of honey on each half of toast. These are samples #1 and #2.
In the meantime…
• While your kiddo is eating, toast another slice of bread
• Repeat using the remaining types of honey. These will be samples #3 and #4.
And the results are…
• Once they’re finished, ASK: Which sample, #1, #2, #3 or #4 did you like best? Take it further, if possible, and ASK: What about that honey made it your favorite?
• Look at the various jars of honey. Compare/contrast the colors, smells, viscosity–other characteristics of honey, helping to increase your child’s vocabulary/language development as well as scientific concepts like viscosity (= a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow. It describes the internal friction of a moving fluid)
For more information on different types of honey available check here.
Extend the PLAY: BEE-friendly Gardening
Without honey bees the world’s ecosystem, let alone food production, would be seriously impacted. Everyone needs to do their part to help protect honey bees. An easy way to contribute: Work to ban all pesticide use!
Another option: Create a BEE-friendly garden
The Honey Bee Conservancy Organization is a wonderful resource with great tips. A word of warning: IF you go to a nursery and see a recommendation for Butterfly Bush as a good plant for butterflies and bees, do not purchase it! Butterfly Bush is an invasive plant. It has been banned in some parts of the country, but sadly not all. It is destroying natural habitat. Another good resource where you CAN find appropriate, native plants to support pollinators like honey bees is Pollinator Partnership.
Keep in mind the following to create the right kind of habitat for honey bees (and other pollinators):
1. Plant flowers and other flowering bushes/trees so that something, if possible, is in bloom in every season. This will provide them with a steady and reliable source of food.
2. Avoid hybrid plants. Because hybrids are a cross between varieties, they do not grow true to seed. And since hybrids are not open pollinated plants they also do not produce the normal amount of pollen say a plant from an heirloom seed would.
3. Offer materials for a home. It might be just some soil. It might be mud or branches. Different bees need different types of shelters. You can also decide to Sponsor-A-Hive!
Extend the Learning: PLAY Simply Fun’s BEE Alert Game
Before you say, “Aww, come on Teacher Karen—how does playing a board game extend the learning?” I think you better take a minute or two to read: It’s Your Move: Why Playing Board Games is Important! Then you’ll see why playing board games is more than just fun!
This bee-themed, fast-paced game has memory skills front and center. It’d be a great companion activity to follow up the taste test, using your child’s memory skills in a different way. One of the things I always strove to do for the preschool kidlets was to give them the opportunity to practice skills in different contexts. For example, improving a kiddo’s pincher grasp can be done via PLAY using peg boards, lacing activities, and/or employing tweezers to pick up items to sort. It’s an example of the POWER of PLAY that there are so many ways for children to grow and learn!
The point of the game Bee Alert is to collect beehives. Challenging that, is the bear. Bears, of course, like honey too. Players risk drawing bear cards that’ll set them back. Players need to hone their observational and memory skills as hives can move about. NOTE: For younger players especially, they can work on color matching/color naming. The game ends when a player has collected (4) beehives.
Bee Alert is for the older preschool and up child, but as with most toys, can be modified to allow younger children to PLAY. (With supervision of course, due to the choking hazard from the small pieces).
BEE-Aware, “BEE” Mindful, BEE-Friendly and know I’m…
Yours in Play!
BEE-lookin’ for more free learning activities? Check here!