Bees, honey, and flowers have made quite the buzz in our house over the past few weeks. My toddler started to show an interest in bees, so we dove in to educatoinal, bee-themed activities that not only taught her more about bees but also emphasized STEM, art, fine motor development, and sensory exploration.
To illustrate how bees pollinate flowers, I created an easy toddler game using pom poms, tongs, a snack tray, and a few printable graphics. I put pictures of different colored flowers in each section of the tray and added corresponding pom poms. Next, I taped a small bee graphic to our tongs.
Taking turns, my toddler and I used the tongs to move the pom poms to different sections while buzzing like a bee. As we intermingled the colors, I told her that bees help mix pollen from one flower to another, which helps flowers grow. This process was called pollination.
I designed a few bee-themed activities for my toddler’s learning binder. Learning binders mark a great way to keep kids engaged while you dinner or enjoy a cup of coffee. All of my designs are based on developmental milestones for toddlers, and these printable activities provide an affordable way to give tots a variety of learning activities.
My Busy Bee Printable Pack includes:
- Honey Color Matching – The color and taste of honey varies based on the flowers bees visit, so kiddos have to match the honey color to the flower color.
- Bee Pre-writing – Strengthen fine motor development by tracing lines with their finger or washable marker.
- Shape Matching – Honey can be used to make lollipops, and kids match the lollipops to their shape.
- Hive Number Matching – Kids learn how bees store honey in hexagons by assembling honey combs by matching numbers.
- I-Spy – Kids find different items made from honey or beeswax.
- Pollinator Puzzle – Match the letters to create a bee puzzle.
- Where’s the Queen Bee? – Hide and seek game for toddlers (and a favorite of my little one)!
Flight of the Bumblebee – Painting to Music Craft
I love craft and activities that also offer sensory exploration, and painting to music is one of my new favorites. If you use fingerprint, kids explore their sense of touch, sight, and sound (but hopefully not taste)! We listened to Flight of the Bumblebee with my Amazon Music app while pretending to be bees buzzing on our papers.
Bee Cut and Paste Craft
I saw this on Pinterest by Krokotak and loved the uniqueness of this craft! My toddler loves working with glue, so she was really excited about this one. I cut out all of the pieces while she napped, and helped her glue the pieces together. Overall, it was a lot of fun and nice to try something different that offers a cool 3-D effect!
Honey Sticks Taste Testing
Did you know that the color and taste of honey can vary based on the different flowers bees visit? A few of our local, all natural-style stores sell a variety of honey sticks, which offers a fun way to let kids explore the different tastes of honey. We love putting honey in our tea or yogurt, but kids can also suck the honey out of these single-serve sticks.
Bee Pretend Play
One of my toddlers favorite toys is a wooden sorting toy of a bee hive and different color bees. I love it because kids match the color of the bee to the color of the honeycomb and use tongs to move the bees to their spots. She loves to buzz around the house with the bees and collect “nectar” from her pretend flowers. I combined these activities so that we could have some pretend play together while also using the tongs to balance the bees on her flowers. We played this several times over the past few weeks! There are several toys like this on Amazon.
Greenhouse Field Trip
Bees and butterflies are suffering from a shrinking flower-rich habitat. Our local greenhouse has several flowers that will attract bees, so we can add some pollinator friendly plants to our garden. My little one loves to garden, so we do have several other plants that we water and care for, so we limited ourselves to one flower that she could plant in our flower bed that will help give the bees nectar. If you don’t have a green thumb, another option to create a bee-friendly place such as a bee bath. Here’s a link to The Honeybee Conservancy if you’d like to read more on creating a bee oasis.
Bees in the Garden
It seemed natural to include some outdoor play with our bee-themed activities. Together, we observed bees in our flower garden as they moved from flower to flower. I even managed to get a lazy bumblebee to crawl on a long stick, so she could get a closer look at how fuzzy they are. She got really excited, which surprised me because she was so afraid of them before we did this. We also stopped to smell the flowers and pick a few.
More Learning Resources
In addition to our games, activities, and crafts, I always try to incorporate books, short videos, songs, or finger plays to our tot school lessons. Our local library has a wealth of information on just about every topic, so it was super easy to pick up some children’s reference books about bees. Here is a quick list of some of our favorite resources:
- Ruby Lee the Bumblebee: A Bee of Possibility is a great, christian children’s book about how bees can fly with such small wings.
- I‘m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee is a fun song to teach little ones! You can enhance this by including a little bee for them to hold in their hands like a toy or painted rock.
- Here is the Beehive Finger Play is something my little one has liked since she was 6 months old! It’s great for distracting kids while waiting in line at the grocery store. Click here for a quick video tutorial on YouTube.
- YouTube has a variety of short learning videos about Bees. We liked this one by All Things Animal TV.
- Also, don’t forget to check out my printable Bee Learning Pack for busy binders. These printable activities are super affordable and can be used over and over again. They are perfect for a toddler’s educational development and their ever expanding sense of wonder!
Do you have any fun, bee-themed activities for toddlers? Please share them in the comments below! I love to hear about different learning activities for young children!