Jet & I made these cute bee & flower crafts yesterday and did a follow-up fine motor activity to illustrate pollination. The original idea was mine, but Jet also gave input and I just love the way it all came together!
To get started with this project you’ll need to print out a realistic picture of a bee. I chose the image above from this website. Print it on cardstock & cut out the body, cutting off the legs, wings, & antennae. You’ll be replacing them with something more useful.
This step is optional, but Jet was begging to do it, so I let him color the bee with markers. I try not to let “pretty” be my goal with crafts, but this did make for a nicer finished product.
Next we moved on to decorating our bee. Jet tore up small pieces of yellow tissue paper, which I had intended to have him glue onto the bee, but once again the kid had a better idea than his mom and suggested that we crumple the paper into small balls before we glued them down. This took a little longer, but I love the way it gave the bee texture! (and the extra fine-motor work)
Jet used a q-tip to apply the glue for the crumbled paper balls.
This next step probably would have been better done before the decorating, but……I didn’t. Whenever you do it, you’ll want to hole-punch six holes (3 on each side) of the bee’s thorax. This is where the legs will be attached. (Looking for more info on bee anatomy? There’s a great free worksheet set available here.)
I wasn’t able to get many pictures of this next step, but hopefully I can explain it well enough. You’ll want to bend a pipe cleaner into the shape shown, put a line of glue (I used hot glue) on the top of the bee between each pair of leg holes & thread the two ends of the pipe cleaner into the holes, landing in the glue. I also bent a small piece of pipe cleaner (I used 1/4) and glued it onto the head for antennae.
Now on to the wings! Bees actually have two sets of wings, the fore wings and hind wings, which connect together with a row of hooks. For our model bee I used 3/4 of a pipe cleaner for each of the fore wings and 1/2 of a pipe cleaner for each of the hind wings.
For the flower portion of our project we also started with a printed pattern. I chose to keep it simple and went with the picture shown above which you can find here. I printed it on cardstock & cut it out for Jet. He tore up small pieces of pink tissue paper and glued them on, overlapping them as he went to cover up all the white of the paper. After Jet was finished decorating the flower, I hot glued a bottle cap that I had rescued from the recycling into the center.
Here are Jet’s finished crafts ready for our fine motor activity. As you can see I filled the center of the flower with yellow & orange pony-bead “pollen”.
Before starting our fine motor activity, Jet & I read Bee & Me and talked a little about the importance of bees and their role in pollination. This book has good information & a cute story that encourages us not to be scared of bees but to appreciate them for their contributions. We also own Honey in a Hive (from the Let's Read & Find Out Science series) & The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive. I hope to get to both of those later, but Bee & Me by Elle McGuinness is my top choice for a gentle introduction to bees.
After brushing up on his bee knowledge, Jet got busy letting his bee visit the flower and pick up some "pollen". He exercised those fine motor skills by threading the pollen onto the bee’s legs.
I didn’t get a picture of it, but I also hot-glued a wooden clothespin to the underside of our bee. It gave Jet something more substantial to hold onto and allowed for some extra fun!
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