Schools out! Summertime has begun. As life shifts back to a more normal pace, you may be wondering what to do with your kids now that they’re on summer break. They’ve spent a lot of time looking at screens due to virtual learning, plus all the screen time they spend on their phones and other devices. Now is the time to take a break from those screens so they can learn and explore the world with a more hands-on approach. So, we’ve put together a list of bee-themed activities you and your kids can do this summer that will not only be fun but help them learn about pollinators and the world around them.
This summer is already shaping up to be a scorcher. At Beepods HQ (Southeastern Wisconsin) it was already in the 90s the first week of June! The minimal rain hasn’t helped either, and these dry spells can lead to a lot of issues. One of them being, your local pollinators aren’t getting enough to drink! Luckily, you and your kids can do this easy DIY project to help those pollinators out! All you’ll need is:
– A shallow dish
– Sticks, cork, small stones, marbles
– Clean water
Fill the shallow dish with clean water. Once the water is added place the cork, sticks, marbles, or stones in the dish, then set outside in your garden or on your porch! The sticks, corks, and stones give the bees something to land on so they can drink water, we don’t want them to drown! Feel free to get creative with this and decorate it however you want! Your kids will learn the importance of water in an ecosystem and what they can do to help.
A great lesson for kids to learn this summer is that not all bees live in a beehive. In fact, most bees nest underground or in trees and hollow branches, but that doesn’t make them any less important as pollinators. Mason bees, for example, are great at pollinating fruit trees, like apples. They build their homes inside pre-existing holes in logs, garden walls, and inside hollow tree and plant stems. You can help mason bees out by building them a home in your yard and garden. All you need is:
– Empty, clean aluminum can
– Hammer and nail
Use the nail to puncture a hole in the bottom of the can and string the twine through. Tie the twine together at the top so that the can will hang horizontally. Then, take the paper and roll it into tight tubes, and put them in the can. Decorate the can however you like, then hang it outside for the bees! You can find out more information on making mason bee houses here.
Bees, as you know, have a giant impact on the world around us. From the food we eat to the air we breathe, bees have a role to play in our survival. To understand bees better, it’s important to know and understand where they live. You and your kids can go on a bee-themed scavenger hunt to look for pollinator food sources, water sources, and habitat. Take them in your backyard or your local park so they can get outside, get some fresh air, and soak up some sun. We have a scavenger hunt checklist as part of our Beepods Lab members area. Sign up today to get your checklist and other great learning options! Don’t forget to take photos and tag us in your results! We’d love to see what you find!
Whether you’re a beekeeper or not, crafting with wax is a lot of fun! If you’ve harvested your own wax, that’s great! If you need wax and other craft supplies, take a peek at our website, we have the supplies you need!
You and your kids will have a lot of fun making beeswax candles and balms and salves! We even offer a free on-demand cooking class for making balms and salves! They’ll work those creative muscles as they make candles and decorate candle tins but they’ll also learn the health benefits that beeswax has! It’s great for dry and cracked skin! If you’re looking for other creative ideas with wax, don’t forget to check out our recipe ebook, Recipes and Remedies Collection: Using Honey and Other Bee Products to Sweeten Your Life.
Those hot summer activities like your bee-themed scavenger hunt require something cool and refreshing, like iced tea sweetened with honey! If you’re looking for a sugar substitute, honey is right for you! Honey is a great alternative to white sugar. Follow along with the recipe in our ebook to make your own. This is a great opportunity to educate your kids on the importance of eating and drinking healthier options and on the great health benefits provided by honey! Our recipe book above has lots of information on how honey can help you and your family.
There are lots of fun summer bee activities that you can do with your kids! Each will help your kids flex their creative muscles and learn more about the natural world around them. These are great lessons that they can do year after year and even teach their peers! But most importantly you’ll be helping the bees. Have any other pollinator activities you’d like to share? Email us at [email protected].