Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bees for The Beeman

This week's story time and craft activity with the after-school kids comes from the sweet little book The Beeman, a story about a little boy who helps his grandfather takes care of his bee hives all year round - and gets to eat honey muffins baked by his grandmother in the end!

The Beeman is written by Laurie Krebs, who has written several fantastic Travel the World books for Barefoot, and is based on her husband (a beekeeper) and their grandson.  It's got great end notes about bees and pollination and honey, and even a recipe for those yummy honey muffins!

After we read the book, we made little bees with flowers - here's the prep work at home:

I found a box full of these great cardboard craft tubes in different sizes at Lakeshore Learning, which just made everything easier when creating a craft for a group of kids.  If you are doing this with just one kid, you could use an empty toilet paper tube; or if you have two or three kids, you could cut a paper towel tube into pieces.

Then I cut one-inch strips of black and yellow construction paper, and taped them to the cardboard tube in alternating stripes (and I loved it when the kids all yelled "it's a pattern!" when I showed them how to do this - they are learning about patterns in class).

I glued on a couple of googly eyes, then cut up a black pipe cleaner and taped two pieces to the back of the tube for antennae.

Then I cut circles out of white card stock, and taped two circles to the back of the tube for wings.  

I was a little worried that this craft might not take up enough time, so I decided to give the bee a flower!  I took a small white coffee filter and dabbed it into some ink pads with different colors, wrapped a green pipe cleaner around the bottom for a stem and then taped the stem to the back of the bee.  The final result was a little hard to photograph, but this should give you the idea...

You could also paint the coffee filter - and the after-school teacher told me has done a similar craft with paint in the past - but I am always trying to come up crafts that involve minimal clean-up, so ink pads worked for us!

I don't have any pictures of the kids working on this craft, because they needed more help than I anticipated with taping the construction paper to the tubes so I couldn't stop and take pictures like I usually do.  If you try this at home or with a group, let me know how it goes for you!


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