Looking for fun activities to keep your little ones busy while home schooling during lockdown? With the joys of spring just around the corner, the world outside our doorstep is gently buzzing with exciting signs of activity.

So now is the best time to go outdoors to make the most of the fresh air and of course, get closer to nature. It’s the perfect way to keep curious minds active and sharp, with the added benefit of some screen-free time.

At this time of year, the great outdoors is waking from its winter slumber and becomes a kaleidoscope of colour and life, making a wonderful substitute classroom. And as temperatures rise above 10 degrees Celsius, our buzzing friends, the honey bees, emerge from their hives after months of clustering in search of delicious nectar. At home, her Royal Majesty the Queen Bee is beginning to lay her first eggs of the year.

Now is the perfect time to focus on the wonderous ways of the humble honey bee and wow little ones with just how amazing these miniature heroes are. With their iconic look and commitment to creating one of our favourite natural foods – delicious ooey gooey honey – the honey bee is the ultimate role model and a great source of inspiration for little minds.

So, how do you do this? Don’t fret, Britain’s favourite honey brand Rowse is here to help! From a delightful art project involving papier mache, to planting wildflowers and building your very own bee hotel, here is a list of bee-themed activities to help you inject a real buzz of excitement at this time of year.

Get creative with papier mache bees

Create your very own buzzing buddies with these cute papier mache (papier-mâché) bees!

From the pipe cleaner antennas to the greaseproof paper wings, our papier mache bees use a combination of all our favourite art & craft materials. They’re so much fun to make and there’s no end to how creative you can be.

Our easy-to-use, printable instructions will guide you through the activity from start to finish – and will keep your busy bees occupied for a few hours. Plus, they’ll have a new friend they can name and call their own at the end of it!

For an extra hive-five, try challenging your kids to improve on the wing design using light florist wire and clingfilm.

Play ‘spot the bee’ and learn about the different parts of the bee anatomy

Seeing bees buzzing around always makes us smile. Ever wonder what they’re up to? Chances are they’re eagerly searching for delicious nectar and fluffy pollen to take back to the hive, or pollinating so much of our delicious fresh food. And at this time of year, they’re also a welcome sign that spring is well on its way, which means soon the air will be filled with the bee-autiful scent of blossoming flowers.

So, when you’re out on your next stroll with the little ones, or just outside playing in the garden, it can be great fun to try to spot any visiting bees as they go about their daily business. Take a closer look at what they look like and try to identify the different sizes, shapes, patterns and colours that make them so unique. Plus see which flowers they’re most attracted to. Here’s a hint – they like the colourful ones!

Here’s a handy guide you can give the little ones to complete, or work through with them, which will teach them the different parts of our favourite miniature hero. The bee is truly unique, so learning about its different body parts is an exciting challenge.

Learn all about the wonders of pollination

When it comes to natural science, the honey bee is a bit of a whiz kid. For example, did you know that a mind-boggling three-quarters of crops that produce food for us to eat are reliant on pollinators like our hive hero? Without our pollinating pals, our dining tables and picnic baskets would be full of bland, colourless food, and we wouldn’t have any of our favourite springtime favourites like asparagus, peas and strawberries.

Your children can learn all about the marvel that is the pollination process and the special role honey bees play in it. This guide is swarming with fun facts and challenges, which will give them the chance to have some fun colouring and filling in the gaps while learning at the same time. Win win!

Help feed the bees by planting your own wildflowers

Wildflowers are some of the honey bee’s favourite flowers as they provide lots of the essentials that bees need to thrive: food in the form of nectar and pollen, as well places to shelter and rest.

Sadly, over the last hundred years, it’s estimated the UK has gone from 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadows to just 26,000 acres. This means that there’s been an enormous drop in the population of pollinators, including bees.

But there is hope. If as many of us as possible get outside and sow bee-autiful wild flowers, we’ll create rainbow-coloured wildflower meadows for our bees and hopefully help increase the numbers of our miniature heroes.

With their vibrant colours and attractive scents, wildflowers are a gorgeous introduction to gardening for your little ones. When you’re sowing the seeds, tell them all about how important they are – the bees will thank you for it. Plus, they’ll love watching their wildflowers grow, all the way from a tiny seed to a big, bee-autiful blossom.

Build a bee hotel

Now it’s time for a lesson in woodwork. An air bee-n-bee is the perfect place for solitary bees in need of a rest. In fact, by having one in your garden you’re likely to increase their chance of survival and create a haven in your very own garden.

Building a bee hotel is lovely way for little ones to spend an afternoon outdoors and create memories. Crafting this construction from scratch, seeing little pollinators enjoying their stay and knowing the positive impact this will have is un-bee-lievably fulfilling. It’s also a wonderful bonding experience and there’s so much for kids to learn along the way. You could assign roles, like ‘head of woodwork’ and ‘chief designer’. Let their creativity run wild by painting the bee hotel with bright colours or quirky patterns!

Throw a bee-inspired tea party

Throwing a tea party is one of the easiest ways to keep your little ones busy for hours. And our bee-inspired version with scrumptious honey-themed treats is a sure way to keep them happy!

Baking with kids is so much fun so ask them to help you prepare the dishes. From Lemon and honey cupcakes and Flip ‘n’ Dip pancakes to Organic fruit roll ups (prepare in advance) and Rowse Greek Honey and blueberry frozen yogurt lollies, the fun in the kitchen is only the start!

Plus, it has an added benefit as measuring is great maths practice as it teaches them about units and numbers, and for those with older kids, chopping up the ingredients can help with their fine-motor skills.

Once you’ve prepared your bee-themed banquet, why not pack a picnic basket and take your children on an adventure to the local park or your favourite garden spot. Surrounded by the beauty of nature and the smell of fresh air, your little ones can learn about where food comes from while treating their tastebuds to a hivefull of flavours!

Honey bees really are a gift of nature, and without our miniature heroes, life wouldn’t be so sweet. That’s why it’s so important they we look after them as they do us. The UK has an amazing network of 465 bee farmers, and through our world class apprenticeship scheme with the Bee Farmers Association (BFA), we’ve upskilled a further 30 young people so far, with more budding apiarists inspired to join the hive.

This partnership, alongside our partnerships with Bees For Development (BFD) and the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) at the University of Sussex, form our Hives for Lives programme of vital initiatives, with the goal to help protect and save the incredible honey bees.


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