Looking for fun activities to keep your little ones busy and educate them at the same time? We have you covered… especially if your little ones love the flurry of activity that happens outdoors!
Let’s face it, we’re always looking for ways to keep curious minds active and sharp, with the added benefit of some screen-free time. And as nature gets busier, it’s the ideal time to shine the spotlight on our buzzing friends, the honey bees.
With their iconic look and commitment to creating one of our favourite natural foods – delicious honey – the honey bee is a great source of inspiration for kids. But how can you get little minds engaged in just how amazing these miniature heroes are?
We’ve put together a list of bee-themed activities from papier mache bees, to planting wildflowers and building your very own bee hotel, to help you inject a real buzz of excitement.
1. Get creative with papier mache bees
Create your very own buzzing buddies with these cute papier mache (papier-mâché) bees! From the pipe cleaner antennas to the greaseproof paper wings, these papier mache bees use a combination of all our favourite art & craft materials. They’re so much fun to make and there’s no end to how creative you can be.
Our easy-to-use, printable instructions will guide you through the activity from start to finish – and will keep your busy bees occupied for a few hours. Plus, they’ll have a new friend they can name and call their own at the end of it!
2. Play ‘spot the bee’ and learn about the different parts of the bee anatomy
Seeing bees buzzing around always makes us smile. Ever wonder what they’re up to? Chances are they’re eagerly searching for delicious nectar and fluffy pollen to take back to the hive, or they’re busy pollinating our delicious fresh food.
So, when you’re out on your next stroll with the little ones, or just outside playing in the garden, try to spot any visiting bees as they go about their daily business. Take a closer look and work though our handy guide, which will teach them the different parts of our favourite miniature hero.
3. Learn all about the wonders of pollination
When it comes to natural science, the honey bee is a bit of a whiz kid. For example, did you know that a mind-boggling three-quarters of crops that produce food for us to eat are reliant on pollinators like our hive hero?
Your children can learn all about the marvel that is the pollination process and the special role honey bees play in it. This guide is swarming with fun facts and challenges, which will give them the chance to have some fun colouring and filling in the gaps while learning at the same time. Win win!
4. Help feed the bees by planting your own wildflowers
Wildflowers are some of the honey bee’s favourite flowers as they provide lots of the essentials that bees need to thrive: food in the form of nectar and pollen, as well as places to shelter and rest.
Sadly, over the last hundred years, it’s estimated the UK has gone from 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadows to just 26,000 acres. This means that there’s been an enormous drop in the population of pollinators, including bees.
So now is the perfect time to get outside and sow some bee-autiful wild flowers. With their vibrant colours and attractive scents, wildflowers are a gorgeous introduction to gardening for your little ones. Plus, they’ll love watching their wildflowers grow, all the way from a tiny seed to a big, bee-autiful blossom.
5. Build a bee hotel
Now it’s time for a lesson in woodwork. An air bee-n-bee is the perfect place for solitary bees in need of a rest. In fact, by having one in your garden you’re likely to increase their chance of survival and create a haven in your very own garden.
Building a bee hotel is a lovely way for little ones to spend an afternoon outdoors and create memories. Crafting this construction from scratch, seeing little pollinators enjoying their stay and knowing the positive impact this will have is un-bee-lievably fulfilling. It’s also a wonderful bonding experience and there’s so much for kids to learn along the way. Let their creativity run wild by painting the bee hotel with bright colours or quirky patterns!
6. Throw a bee-inspired tea party
What do you need for a successful tea party? Delicious dishes of course! And what better way to keep your little ones busy than by donning an apron and baking some tasty treats! We’ve put a bee-inspired honey twist on ours, with Lemon and honey cupcakes and Flip ‘n’ Dip pancakes to Organic fruit roll ups (prepare in advance) and Rowse Greek Honey and blueberry frozen yogurt lollies!
Once you’ve prepared your bee-themed banquet, why not pack a picnic basket and go on an adventure. They can learn about where food comes from while treating their taste buds to a hive-full of flavours!
Honey bees really are a gift of nature, and without our miniature heroes, life wouldn’t be so sweet. That’s why it’s so important that we look after them as they do us. The UK has an amazing network of 465 bee farmers, and through our world class apprenticeship scheme with the Bee Farmers Association (BFA), we’ve upskilled a further 30 young people so far, with more budding apiarists inspired to join the hive.
This partnership, alongside our partnerships with Bees For Development (BFD) and the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) at the University of Sussex, form our Hives for Lives programme of vital initiatives, with the goal to help protect and save the incredible honey bees.