B is for Bee

 B is for Bee
Written by Rachel Hoggan

Literacy Activities
As with every unit, we practiced tracing/writing the letter B. My 2-year-old can't trace letters yet, but I give him a large letter B that he then puts cheerios on so he can at least experience the shape of the letter. My 3-year-old is tracing letters and starting to learn how to write them on his own a little. We also learned the sound of the letter B and I gave them a box to fill with things around the house that started with "B." The boys loved it when they realized "baby" started with "B" and they tried to put their baby sister in their box!

Reading time is our favorite part about our home preschool. Here are just a few of the many books we read during the "B is for Bee" week:

Buzz, Buzz, Busy Bees
This cute little board book has long been a favorite in our household. It was this book that taught my oldest all of his animal sounds when he was just a year old, and he still enjoys it as a 3-year-old.

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh is a wonderful, classic read-aloud book. I find myself laughing as much or more than the kids as I read the witty, funny stories. We read the honey tree chapter for our unit on bees. Though we have read the whole book and its sequels in the past. If your child needs a few more pictures than the classic edition, you could also get this picture book version which my boys enjoy as well. But I prefer the writing in the original

Happy Bees by Arthur Yorinks

For some reason--this was one of my boys' favorite bee book that we checked out from the library. The silly rhymes and illustrations, as well as the accompanying CD really entertained them.

The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman

My boys also loved this silly book about a bee who wanted to keep all of the nectar to himself. It led to a good discussion about the importance of sharing, which was a bonus lesson J

The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons

We almost always include a Gail Gibbons book in our units. This was a great introduction to the real lives of bees.

James Goes Buzz, Buzz

My boys are obsessed with trains, so whenever we can incorporate trains into our preschool themes, we do so. This is a cute easy reader about James (from Thomas and Friends) and some bees.

We used some free printables from 2 Teaching Mommies to practice math skills. I love the cute printables on this website, though I don't print out every activity for every unit, because my boys can are too wiggly to do many sit-down activities. But we enjoyed doing the spin and graph activity to count and graph different bee-related items for our math practice this week.

The boys loved doing this handprint/footprint bee craft. It was a great sensory activity, too, as they enjoyed having their feet and hands painted. We also did this letter B craft--It was a great way to combine learning the shape of the letter B with the topic of bees. I found many other fun bee crafts online--if only we had time to do them all!

Science and Pretend Play
We learned about the life cycles of bees and parts of bees as we read our books. Then we expanded that out into some very pretend play. First, we played a "pollen" gathering game. I cut flower shapes out of colored paper (just did it freehand--they weren't perfect, but they were good enough for the kids). Then, I spread the flower shapes around the room and put one on top of each flower. Next, I taped a plastic bag to each of the boy's legs (because bees have their pollen sacks on their legs). Finally, I let them go collect as much "pollen" as possible. When they had collected it all, they got to eat the treat. It was no surprise that the boys asked to play this game again and again.
We also pretended to be bees drinking "nectar" from flowers. I placed a cup with a straw on top of a flower and had my kids drink the "nectar." You could have your children drink something sweet like juice, but mine were happy enough with water.

For our outing, we just went on a nature walk, searching for bees. We took our trusty bug listening jar. Our jar is like this one:

with a built in magnifying glass, but it also has a sound amplifier as well. We were lucky to find and catch a huge fuzzy bumblebee just a few minutes into our walk. We observed it for a few minutes before releasing it and searching for more bees.

We made these delicious honeycomb treats though my kids just wanted to eat the m & m bees on the top! And we ate lots and lots of bread and honey!

My boys love the song "I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee" as well as the classic Mother Goose Rhyme, "Fiddle dee dee… the fly has married the bumblebee." We also incorporated a little instrumental music as we listened to "Flight of the Bumblebee" while running around pretending to be bees.

For more fun bee ideas, see my "B is for Bee" board on Pinterest!

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