These 30 bee activities for preschoolers, toddlers, and babies will instill a love of bees. Each play-based activity will get children actively engaged in learning. Parents will find ideas for their bee-loving children, and educators will find engaging, developmentally appropriate ideas for their classroom lesson plans.
Bee Activities for Preschoolers
How do you teach a preschooler about bees?
Preschoolers learn best when they can interact with a topic or concept. But playing with bees is just not safe for kids or bees. Instead, you can teach preschoolers about bees through engaging, play-based activities related to bees. Children can listen to bees buzzing, sing bee songs, build beehives from blocks, read bee books, pretend to be bees, and create bee art.
Using open-ended questions during bee activities helps children learn too. These questions sparks conversations about bees. Preschoolers can practice using bee vocabulary and sharing their knowledge and ideas.
5 Bee Facts to Teach Preschoolers
Here are some developmentally appropriate bee facts to share with preschoolers.
- Bee life cycles
- The bee life cycle has four stages – egg, larvae, pupae, and adult.
- Bees are pollinators
- Bees land on flowers and pick up pollen on their hair. They carry this pollen to the next flower. Flowers need to share pollen to grow seeds.
- Bees help our food grow
- Fruits and vegetables come from plants. They grow because bees help pollinate the plants.
- Not all bees make honey
- Honeybees make honey. Some honeybees live in the wild, while others live on honey farms. Beekeepers raise bees on honey farms.
- There are three types of bees in a colony
- There is a queen bee, worker bees, and drones. Each has a special job.
Interested in fun learning activities about bees? Keep reading.
Cardboard Honeycomb: Small World Play
Creating a honeycomb out of toilet paper or paper towel rolls is a bit of a project. However, it is an excellent addition to a unit on bees.
- Cut three or four toilet paper rolls into rings. The rings can be 1/2″ to 1″ thick.
- Fold the rings to create corners/creases. This adds a geometric look to the rings.
- Hot glue or staple the rings together to make a flat honeycomb. Cover staples with small pieces of masking tape.
Now children can use this honeycomb for small world play. Set it out with plastic or felt bee toys. Children can use the toys to act out what they learn about bees.
Bee Fine Motor: Pompoms & Tongs
Start with a cardboard honeycomb.
Then add one or more of the following:
- small yellow pompoms
- large yellow pompoms
- mini yellow spiky balls (the party favor ones)
- tiny felt craft bees
Offer your preschooler tongs or tweezers to move the “bees” in and out of the honeycomb.
Don’t Step on Bees!
The mission is to cross the room without stepping on any bees. We don’t want to get stung!
- Use construction paper to create bases/stepping stones on the floor.
- Make gray rocks, brown mud, colorful flowers, grassy green patches, and, of course, yellow bees.
- Spread these out across the room.
- Invite children to try and cross without stepping on a bee.
Once kids master cross the obstacle, rearrange the bases to make the activity more challenging.
This activity is a great chance to talk about not stepping on or hurting bees.
Bee Nature Walk
Go on a bee scavenger hunt.
Start with a blank nature scavenger hunt template. This one is free (and I don’t even ask for your email).
Add bee-related objects or actions for kids to find. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- bee flying
- bee eating on a flower
- something with stripes
- a purple flower
- 5 kinds of flowers
- a fruit or berry
More Scavenger Hunt Ideas
DIY Bee Watering Station
Bees get thirsty too. Children can help create a simple water station.
Start by adding marbles to a shallow pan. Pour in a thin layer of water. You want the bees to be able to land and safely drink.
Now your preschooler can get creative. Using their imagination, kids can add twigs, stones, pine cones, flowers, leaves, gemstones, and more to decorate the pan.
Keep an eye on the watering station. It could be a perfect opportunity to observe bees safely.
Plant a Bee Garden
Choose seeds from the Attracting Pollinators List
Plant according to instructions on your native plant seed packet. Talk about the connection between bees, flowers, and our food system.
Bumblebee Play Dough
This play dough activity is a chance for preschoolers to explore their bee knowledge through art, role play, and fine motor skills.
Set out an invitation to explore play dough. Choose bee-related materials such as:
- yellow play dough
- black pipe cleaners
- black and yellow pompoms
- black and yellow beads
- clear gemstones
Print photos of honeycombs and use clear contact paper to seal them to the table. This DIY play dough mat can inspire more play.
Find more ideas: 12 Play Dough Activities to Nurture Creativity
Flower & Bee Small World Play
Children can create and explore a bee’s paradise.
- Offer your preschooler a strainer/colander, artificial flowers, and toy bees.
- Show them how to poke flower stems through the holes of the colander.
- Let their imaginations take over.
Bee Sensory Play Bins
What would a play-based bee unit be without sensory bins? Below are my favorite bee-related sensory table materials. Pick and personalize the perfect option for your preschooler or classroom.
Sensory Bin Bases:
- black and yellow water beads
- yellow sand
- Honeycombs cereal
- black beans
- black and yellow rice
- yellow or black beads
- potting soil
Bee Sensory Bin Materials:
- toy bees
- real or artificial flowers
- honey dipper
- yellow or wooden hexagon pattern blocks
- yellow, black, or gold pompoms
- yellow, black, or gold pipe cleaners
- felt shapes
Swarm of Bees & Bingo Dobbers
On our bee book list, there is a book by Lemony Snicket called Swarm of Bees. The book illustrates a swarm of bees using dots.
After reading the story (in person or on youtube), invite children to create their own swarms of bees using bingo dobbers.
Serve honey on bread or Honeycombs cereal at snack time. If you serve fruit with the snack, you’ll add nutrients and a conversation about how bees help grow our food.
Choose a children’s book about bees.
Create a bee bookshelf or book basket to inspire more bee storytimes. I recommend adding bee puppets or a bee stuffed animal too.
Writing bee poetry with preschoolers develops bee knowledge, plus language and literacy skills. Start by writing down bee-related vocabulary words that are familiar to your child or class.
Bee vocabulary words for preschoolers:
Then encourage children to think of words that rhyme with the words on the list. Next, ask children to brainstorm words that share the same first letter sound with each word. Your word bank is finished.
Time to start writing your bee poetry together. Your poetry can have rhyme and rhythm or be free verse. The goal is to encourage preschoolers to explore the language in the bee word bank.
Write down their ideas as they share them. Look for ways to expand their ideas using alliteration, rhyme, and descriptive language.
Bee & Animal Sorting
Preschoolers can learn about the characteristics of bees by sorting and classifying animals.
- sorting tray or muffin tin
- toy animals
- animals with stripes
- animals that fly
Bee Stamp Art
This process art activity may inspire some bee-themed creations. For extra inspiration, you can display bee books or photographs of bees and honeycombs. If your child or class is in bee mode, they will likely use the materials to share their bee knowledge.
- bee stamps
- flower stamps
- toilet paper rolls (for stamping a honeycomb pattern)
- ink pad
- yellow pompoms
- gold glitter glue
- bee stickers
- honey dipper
Find the Bee
Hide a bee toy for children to find. Children can search for the hidden bee and safely return the it to a “bee nest” or “flower.”
Bubble Wrap Prints
This is another process art activity with a touch of bee inspiration. Preschoolers can paint plastic bubble wrap with yellow or orange paint and then make prints on paper.
You can extend this activity by getting the artwork back out once it dries. Then preschoolers can add collage materials or draw on their honeycombs with markers.
Alternative: Replace bubble wrap with Duplo blocks.
Bee Activities for Toddlers
5 Bee Facts for Toddlers
Here are some developmentally appropriate bee facts to share with toddlers.
- Be careful with bees and they will be careful with you.
- Some bees make honey.
- Bees eat from flowers.
- Bees live with giant families.
- We need to keep bees safe. They help make our food.
Bee Felt Board
Cut out pieces of felt with shapes related to bees.
- hexagons for the beehive
Need inspiration? Pair your bee felt board with a favorite bee children’s book.
Don’t have a felt board? Spread out a nice, fuzzy blanket to stick your felt pieces on.
Yellow & Black Ribbon Collage
Tape contact paper to the floor or tabletop, sticky side up. Cut strips of yellow ribbon and black ribbon. Encourage children to explore sticking and peeling the ribbons.
While children build their fine motor skills, talk about how the ribbons make yellow and black stripes that match a bee’s body.
Tip: Keep an eye out at the store, and you might even find ribbons with bee graphics.
Bee Sensory Bottle
Sensory bottles are easily adaptable to the topics you are teaching.
ideas for a bee-themed sensory bottle:
- black and yellow ribbons
- black beans and yellow rice
- felt bee toys
- golden-colored liquid, gel, or slime for honey
- black and yellow pompoms
- black and yellow water beads
- black and gold sequins
- honeycombs cereal
- bee beads or charms
- flower beads or charms
- tiny artificial flowers or flower petals
You can mix the black and yellow colors in a bottle. The other option is to create two to four black sensory bottles and two to four yellow bottles. Then use the monochrome sensory bottles to create patterns.
Bee Action Songs
Toddlers can learn about bees while developing language, literacy, and motor skills.
Here is the Beehive Fingerplay
I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee
Okay, so this children’s song is not on trend with saving the bees. I’m aware of that.
I catch and release the bugs in my house. So if I were singing this song with children, I would pair it up with a talk about bee safety. If we are careful with bees, they will be careful with us.
Have a good old-fashion dance party to Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz).
Explore our list of 40 bee books for children for some bee-inspired storytime. There are bee picture books, books with bee characters, and nonfiction bee books with real photographs.
Invited toddlers to explore bee habitats and behaviors using blocks. Add bee-themed materials to the block center or alongside a basket of blocks.
Bee Props for Blocks
- yellow hexagon pattern blocks
- artificial flowers
- large yellow pompoms or felt bees
- honey dippers
If you want to give your toddler guidance, here are some ideas:
- build a bee hive
- build a garden for the bees
- build a bee farm
Bee Nature Walk
Take a nature walk to look for bees and flowers. Ask open-ended questions such as:
- Some bee-related open-ended questions might be:
- “Which flowers do you think the bees like?”
- “Where do you think the bees are living?”
- “How high do you think that bee can fly?”
- “Where should we look for bees?”
A nature walk is also a perfect time to talk about bee safety.
Find More Nature Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Digger Bee Sensory Table
Digger bees build their nests underground. To me, this seems like the perfect inspiration for a sand-filled sensory table. Start with sand (choose yellow sand if you’re extra committed to this bee theme) and add digger bee props.
Materials for Bee Sensory Table
- plastic bee toys
- artificial or real flowers
- toilet paper tubes for tunnels
- yellow hexagon pattern blocks
- scoops for digging
If your toddler is really committed to this activity, you can add water to the sand. Add just enough water that you can start creating small tunnels in the sand.
Bee Imaginative Play
Set up a dramatic play center or prop box.
- bee antenna headbands
- bee wings
- flowers (real or artificial)
- a cardboard box hive
- maybe even a crown for the queen bee
Here are more activities for the child who loves imagination games.
Bee Activities for Babies
Introduce bees, rhythm, and language to your baby through song.
- “Did you see the bee in the book? Buzz buzz buzz.”
Bee Board Books
Add a bee board book to your baby’s library. Board books introduce simple concepts to our youngest readers.
Babies are developing language and communication skills. You and your baby can play with sounds together. Take turns making or trying to make buzzing sounds. Use this as a chance to talk about how bees buzz. You can introduce buzzing sounds whenever feels natural or while reading or singing about bees.
In the summer and fall, bees are active and buzzing around. While your baby is spending time outside, you can point out the bees you see and hear.
- “Do you hear the bee buzzing? It is looking for flowers.”
- “The bees like the warm sun just like we do.”
- “Where do you think the bee is going?”
Make Bee Connections
Babies and toddlers will learn big concepts first. Talk about bee connections when they come up naturally with your baby.
- “Let’s put on your striped socks. They are striped like a bee.”
- “That bird just flew away. You know what else flies?”
- “Can you smell the tea I made? I added honey to it. Bees made this honey.”
- “The spider is crawling away. We won’t hurt it. Bugs, like spiders and bees, are good. They help us too.”