Inside: Learning about bees can be filled with exploration. During our bug unit, our preschoolers had an opportunity to create honeycomb, taste honey, and play fun bee games!
Preschoolers tend to think of bees as bugs that sting, something to fear when we are playing outdoors.
During our bug theme, I decided to put together some fun activities that show how bees are very useful, such as when making honey.
We learned about the shape of honeycomb, created a honeycomb on paper with paint, made a tasty snack, and played some bee activities.
By the end of the week, our preschoolers were actually hoping to see bees outside, now that they knew more about these helpful insects.
Learning About Bees with Preschoolers (with Printables)
Honeycomb Art Activity
I was so excited about the honeycomb print that I put together for the children.
But how to make the print? Where would I find texture that would look like a honeycomb?
And then I stumbled upon this.
Yes, a drawer organizer! Who knew?
I justified the purchase that once we were finished with the activity, I could wash it and then actually use it as it’s intended. We teachers are a resourceful bunch, aren’t we?
Had I not found anything, I was planning on using bubble wrap. And that would have worked, too!
Before we started the honeycomb art activity, we gave the children some honeycomb-shaped cereal. We showed them what a real honeycomb looks like, too.
Then we played a little game.
I used my honeycomb printable and my bee printables for circle time. (Scroll down to find the link to download them.)
I placed the honeycomb on the floor and gave each child a bee to fly over to it.
Then it was time to make the honeycomb on paper.
I placed my drawer-organizer-turned-honeycomb on a table and add cups of paint and brushes.
I invited the children to paint the top of the “honeycomb”. They had so much fun with this that they also painted down the sides, too. Process art!
We then took a large sheet of paper and pressed it on top of the painted “honeycomb”. Ta-da!
The next day, when it was dry, we taped the honeycomb on the back of our circle time shelf.
I gave the children a bee sticker to fly to the honeycomb and stick to it.
Tasting Honey and Making Honey Cornbread
I was thrilled to find a jar of honey with a piece of the honeycomb still in it.
I picked up a box of honey cornbread mix and put together a cooking and tasting activity.
The children helped us make the cornbread, adding the ingredients and stirring.
The cornbread was out of the oven for us to enjoy during snack. During this time, we showed them the little honeycomb that was in the jar, and then gave each child a little spoonful of honey to taste.
Bring the Bee to the Honeycomb Game
On a very energetic preschool day, I was so glad I had this large motor activity ready!
Before we went outside, one of the teachers hid a bunch of the paper bees in various spots.
She took the honeycomb printable and put it on the outdoor table.
When it was time for the children to go outside, we told them they were to look for pretend bees, and when they found them, to make them fly and land on the honeycomb.
This was such a hit.
In fact, we had to remove the bees from the honeycomb and hide them again … many times!
Adding more activities through Scholastic’s My Big World
I love Scholastic, and our preschool has been part of their book club for 18 years!
So when I was asked to review their My Big World with Clifford magazine Busy Buzzy Bees, I jumped at the chance. (Note: I was given copies of the May/June magazines at no cost, so I could show how I use them in our preschool classroom.)
I knew that our bug unit was coming up, and I knew the magazine would help us with learning about bees.
Each magazine comes with an oversized version for whole-class reading.
I promptly taped it onto the back of a shelf that faces our circle time area. This is a great visual, plus an addition to our print-rich environment.
Before I gave each child a copy of the Busy Buzzy Bees magazine, we looked at them in the classroom. Even though our children cannot yet read, they were able to tell me what was happening because of the clear, bright photos.
What I really loved was the teacher’s guide.
It comes with creative activity ideas that are so easy to put together!
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know how much I love activities that strengthen the hands!
Be a Bee!
Our preschoolers pretended to be bees gathering nectar, transferring yellow-colored water.
They squeezed the bulb of the baster to suck in the water (nectar) and transport it to the ice cube tray, releasing it.
Five Little Bees
Another activity in the teacher’s guide involved making a hive out of paper and then using yellow pom poms as bees.
We recited the counting poem that is included in the teacher’s guide while adding the pom pom bees to the hive.
A great way to add math to the plan!
Once you subscribe to My Big World with Clifford, you have access to their online resources, such as the insect page shown below. I pulled this out during our quiet time and invited the children to count the legs on the bee and color it.
There was also a “build an insect” activity where the children learned about the parts of an insect.
We saved the movement cards for our active time, when we moved like the insect on each card. This was a hit!
More about My Big World with Clifford
My Big World with Clifford is a non-fiction magazine for early childhood classrooms.
Each magazine explores thematic units, vocabulary, social development, movement, language, ABCs, and numbers.
For more information, or to try a sample issue, head on over to the Scholastic website!
Check out when we used My Big World with Clifford while learning about seeds!