Three ways to celebrate them with preschoolers!
The Honey Makers, by Gail Gibbons
We enjoy this book’s ability to present different aspects of the life of bees in a methodical and organized way, which appeals to a young child’s appreciation of order and sequence. If you are curious about the different kinds of bees that exist, their various jobs within a hive and the process of honey-making itself….and if you might be a curious five year old who loves to engage in research and produce scientific reports or artwork, then this is a particularly inspiring book, which would be invaluable in a classroom or home library. Ages 5 and up
How Bees Make Honey, by Louise Spilsbury
This compact book uses beautiful photographs to enhance its inviting text, making us wonder if little ones who are still at the pre-reading stage could be intrigued even by the illustrations. What a nice community building activity it would be for an older child to read this to a younger student, or sibling, then! Children learn so much by interacting with one another, and this book provides a lovely starting point for lively discussion. Ages 4 and up
The Life And Times of the Honeybee, by Charles Micucci
All topics benefit from a variety of perspectives and this particular book takes us behind the scenes, as it were, to the work of a beekeeper and his daily experiences and responsibilities. The artwork in this book exudes energy enthusiasm in its lively yellows; we suspect it will be a big hit during your read-aloud time at home or at school. Ages 3 and up.
It can be beneficial to avoid contradicting what children present
as their own opinions about bees and other insects...
It can be difficult to persuade children that insects play a valuable role in our ecosystem. Many preschoolers come to a learning environment where the positive impact of bees, ants and other tiny creatures has been avoided and many insects generate fear. How we respond to people, situations and nature is being examined by our children from their earliest moments of consciousness and so the subject can be delicate when it comes in direct opposition to attitudes set in the home. For caregivers, it can be beneficial to avoid contradicting what children present as their own opinions about bees and other insects, and to concentrate instead on fact-related material as a means of generating respect for some of nature’s busiest workers. Set out to inspire rather than to argue, and watch as young students become aware of differing opinions among their own peer group. Children always learn best from each other.
The most important lessons are often the simplest. Leading by example, show children how to respond when a bee comes close. Explain what you are doing and why, which helps to instill respect and understanding. Be mindful of the fact that for some children, bee stings can be extremely dangerous, and be educated about the needs of your students. Exercise appropriate caution; of course, it will not be prudent to examine bees at close proximity. But children can become familiar with the flowers they help to pollinate and the environments in which they thrive. Use specific vocabulary when examining flower specimens and introduce the basic parts of the flower at a time when little ones under the age of six are so receptive to language. Children adore the opportunity to use new words. Introduce the parts of the bee! Compare and contrast these body parts to elements of the human body, remembering that learning is always at its most meaningful when it relates to something tangible and familiar.