Staying “Buzzy” this Summer

It’s summertime, flowers are in full bloom and busy bees are buzzing everywhere gathering nectar and spreading pollen- so I figured why not do some activities celebrating these tiny but important creatures!

Flying bee balloon: Blow up a yellow balloon and use a black sharpie to decorate it like a bee (or have your little decorate it). Give it to your little to toss in the air to make it fly, or play “keepy uppy” with it (try to keep the balloon from hitting the ground). This was a HUGE hit with both my boys!

Nectar transfer fine motor play: Cut out a flower from construction paper. Cut a hole in the center. Hot glue the flower to a small cup. Carefully fill the cup with water and a few drops of yellow food coloring. Give your little the flower, a pipette and an empty egg crate (I always hit them with some spray sanitizer before letting my kids play with them!) Explain that bees collect nectar from flowers and bring it back to the hive to store in the honeycomb. Tell them they’re going to pretend to be bees by gathering nectar with their pipette and squirting it in the “honeycomb” egg crate. Then let them play! (Fun fact: Bees have TWO stomachs- their regular one and their “honey stomach”. They swallow the nectar and store it in their honey stomach until they get back to the hive. Enzymes in their honey stomach start to turn the nectar into honey. Then they essentially throw it back up into the hive and fan it with their wings to dehydrate it before capping it with wax to save for later! Bee vomit…YUM! hahahaha) I got this idea from Turner Tots and just added the flower.

Honeycomb cereal crunchy bin: Fill a cake pan with honeycomb cereal. Give your little some play tools to crunch up the cereal with. (They’ll probably just eat it the whole time like mine did, but hey- I always say, taste is part of the senses, right?!) I got this idea from teachingjandg on Instagram!

Bubble wrap bee hive: I saved some bubble wrap from a package we had delivered and cut a hive shape for each of the boys from it (then popped the rest with my preschooler because it’s just so satisfyingly fun! Plus it works on fine motor strength soooo…). They painted the bubble wrap yellow, then I glued it to a piece of blue construction paper. Then they added some bees with a yellow polka dot marker (you could also have them use fingerprints!) and we added a branch for the hive to hang from. As an extension for my older kiddo we looked up pictures of honeybee hives in the wild- they’re pretty cool and not at all what I expected! They’re big golden sheets of wax (and sometimes even have layers of sheets!) not the grey papery hives I was thinking they were (I guess those are wasps nests…lol). I got this idea off Pinterest!

Baby bumble bee stress ball: I filled a balloon with sugar, tied the end off and decorated it like a bee with a sharpie. Then we sang “I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee” (click the link for a video of me singing the song if you want a good laugh!) and threw them at the “OUCH! It stung me!” part! LOL My littles both thought it was hilarious and hopefully it’ll teach them not to touch bees… I got the idea from The Inspired Treehouse but used sugar instead of flour because I couldn’t get it to go into the balloon with my funnel! I also skipped the part of the song where you squish up the bee because I don’t want my kids to think that’s a good idea! LOL

Pollen transfer fine motor and counting play: I cut up some toilet paper tubes into thirds then hot glued them to a yellow sheet of construction paper in a hive shape. Then I had my little put “pollen” (ie. yellow pom poms) in the tubes and encouraged him to take them out using the pincher grasp (he preferred just dumping them all out on the floor though…hahaha!) You could also do this with tongs! Then I showed him how I counted the pollen while putting them into the hive to build his number skills. I got the hive idea from 123 Homeschool for Me and then just added the pollen bit to it!

Handprint flowers: We painted flowers by doing several handprints in a circle then painting the center a different color (I helped my toddler and my preschooler did his on his own). Then we used a polka dot marker to add some bees visiting our flowers! (You could also make the bees using fingerprints!)

Shopping/Supply list:

  • yellow balloon
  • sugar
  • funnel
  • black sharpie
  • several toilet paper tubes
  • yellow pom poms
  • empty egg carton
  • honeycomb cereal
  • toy hammer/tools
  • Polka dot markers
  • bubble wrap
  • small cup
  • food coloring
  • hot glue
  • 3 types of honey

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