Kids & Bees: A Sweet Connection
Monday, December 7, 2015
As an official partner of the Feed a Bee program, educating the next generation of bee advocates is one of our main goals. However, getting them involved in the conversation about the importance of our little pollinating pals can be a real challenge. So, we’ve taken the “sting” out of educating kids about bees with this step-by-step guide! Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, a neighbor – whatever! – read on to learn how you can help create the beekeepers and bee advocates of tomorrow.
Establish a Role Model
Finding a strong role model that speaks directly to children and encourages them to “have fun while learning” is one of the most effective techniques in education to focus little learners’ attention and make a lasting impression. Our character, Vitamin Bee® is a child-friendly bee on a mission to teach kids about healthy eating and honey bee education; especially when it comes to how bees get fresh produce from farm to table. Kids love to learn when media is involved, so Vitamin Bee’s silly songs, videos and hands-on activities are all part of the lessons we use to engage and educate. You might even catch them singing and dancing along!
Turn Fear Into Curiosity: A Job Well Done!
Hands-on activities are the key ingredient when it comes to partnering with Mother Nature and helping the honey bee do a very important job! Kids are natural scientists, curious about the world around them but may be afraid of bees because of their potential to sting. However teaching kids that bees are doing a very important job may change those fears into curiosity. For a real life demonstration of pollination, children can quietly observe bees pollinating flowers or even help plant a garden full of bee-friendly blooms. Kids can also interact with bees by making them a bee hotel for a nice place to rest, or a bee watering hole where bees can land safely and get a drink. Just the simple act of planting seeds and watching them grow will make kids feel more interested and involved.
Getting Kids Involved with Food
Food, glorious food! Bees are a major contributing factor in pollinating food-producing plants, so our next step is to stimulate the senses of kids by getting them into the kitchen. Using simple recipes that contain bee pollinated produce, children can create and taste how fruits and veggies are one of many yummy results from the pollination process. This hands-on experience lets kids really enjoy food by using touch, taste, sight and cognitive skills, as well as having an appreciation for where their food comes from. Since kids are more likely to eat what they create themselves, simple recipes can be the key to learning about how bees contribute to their dinner plate!
Here’s an example of a simple, healthy recipe that kids of varying ages can participate in creating:
Get more ideas for packing healthy lunchboxes or fun recipes kids can get in on here and here.
Bees Affect Our Daily Lives.
It’s true that we wouldn’t have most of our produce and other important plants without bees, but this affects more than just our dinner plates. Children should “Bee Aware” that plants go into more products than they might suspect, such as toothpaste, shampoo and clothing! That means that bees are part of their everyday lives more than just at meal times! It would be pretty cold in the winter without clothes, after all! For fun, have your kids make a list of all the things in your house that the honey bee helps to create.
Establishing Our Next Generation of Bee Advocates!
As part of Vitamin Bee’s call to action for children to advocate for bees, we have created a three-part series called “Pollination,” “Preservation” and “Bee Aware.” These episodes are meant to educate our audience about the science behind pollination and the yummy edible result.
By giving kids the power to help honeybees in their own backyards and engaging them with a role model they will listen to, we ensure that our young advocates of today will sprout into the adult advocates for the honey bees of tomorrow.
The Future of Vitamin Bee®
Targeting grades K-5, Vitamin Bee is already working with elementary schools, apiaries, farmers, and bee advocates all over the world to educate and promote our cause. Additionally, the Vitamin Bee nutrition program is in its second year of action in classrooms and impacts over 20,000 kids across the country. We expect to continue our growth using media, recipes and activities to get kids to eat more yummy nutritious foods and have a true appreciation for the honey bee all at the same time as part of the Feed a Bee initiative. Keep an eye out for new episodes from Vitamin Bee featuring how bees make honey and why it’s a healthy, sweet treat!
Get a free membership to watch episodes, play games, listen to cool sing-along tunes, and more at www.VitaminBee.tv !
You can connect with us on social media where Vitamin Bee has adventures and interacts with key organizations and like-minded people like you:
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