May 10, 2013

Baby School: Exploring Bees

Today we were bzzzzzzzzzzy exploring bees! Bees are one of my least favorite REAL bugs, but in fake life I think they are great. For exampe, I love Bee Movie! If all Bees were like Barry B. Benson, I would beeeeee a lot happier.

We started off the morning reading our bee books! Kingston was in a great mood and couldn't get enough of our books. He especially is obsessed with the Big Book of Bugs as I've mentioned before, so we located the bees inside that book. He spent a good few minutes examining and pointing at the different pictures.

Then he started to get a little rough with the pages, so I took out our more baby-friendly bee books: Bee & Me: A Mini-Motion Book and Buzz-Buzz, Busy Bees. He tolerated the Bee & Me book,  but got really excited when I started reading the sound book. It has a fun little rhyme that ends with buzzing bees. He loves touching all the bees throughout the book also. 

Here are some other bee books for baby:

After we finished reading, I introduced Kingston to a plastic bee toy that I picked up at the Dollar Tree. I also took out a sensory block that was black and yellow with a little bee on it. He was very interested in the bee and couldn't take his eyes off of it! He examined it, pet it, and threw it around a little. I explained to him that it was a bee, pointed out the bees colors, and flew the bee around him buzzing. He liked that a lot and frantically reached for it until I gave it back to him. I rambled on about bees, hives, and honey, but he was more interested in getting a good look at the bees translucent wings. 

Since the bee was holding K's interest so well, I decided to run with it! I made a little "hive" out of two yellow stacking cups and placed the bee on top. I made up a story about the queen bee guarding her hive and what not, and Kingston loved it. He grabbed the bee, then the cups, and then he played with all three together. It was really cute! I love taking everyday toys and breathing new life into them by adding a different component. 

He soon tired of the cups, but the bee was still exciting for him. ($1 sure goes a long way with little ones!) He has been practicing crawling for the past week and is getting so good at it, so I thought I would integrate a little bit of gross motor play. I placed the bee on one of his favorite balls and urged him to crawl to it. He had a lot of fun trying to grab it! While he crawled, I rolled the bee back and forth on the ball and buzzed. Then I sang the song "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee" which is a favorite song of mine from when I taught. Kingston loved my silly hand movements and stopped what he was doing to clap his hands for me. He really knows how to boost this Mama's ego! 

I was so thrilled with how long this little bee kept his attention! He was so interested with it, that I found myself looking up other bee toys on Amazon. Here are a few cool ones that I found:
I am in love with this Honey Bee Tree game for when he is older
This bee puppet would be a blast! He loves puppets!  
This Taggie bee is more than adorable!

When we were done playing, I sat Kingston in his high chair for a craft. 

Note to self: make sure that your sweet baby is well rested before craft time, especially when he is crafting with some seriously sticky sensory materials! 

For this project you will need: light corn syrup, yellow paint (notice the name of this color!!), and a piece of white cardstock. I would not recommend this project if your baby likes to scoop up globs of paint/craft materials and eat them, but if they can be easily distracted and listen to "no" then go for it! My little guy is going through a great stage where he doesn't even attempt to put anything in his mouth. He would much rather see how much tape he can rip off or what he can destroy next!

I mixed a little bit of yellow paint with the corn syrup in a bowl. I taped the paper down to the high chair and drizzled the paint all over it like honey. I talked to Kingston about honey and brought the bee over to show him. I used words like, "bee, honey, hive, pollen, yellow, and sticky". He smeared the sticky concoction all over the paper and was really loving it for about 5 minutes.

That was before he realized that it was nap time. He started getting really cranky, and cleaning a sticky, yellow, sugary mess off of a squirmy, tired 7 month old is not for the faint of heart! Luckily, I am highly trained in this field (insert now sticky, paint smeared, exhausted mama) and got him cleaned in no time. Once he was cleaned off, he fell right asleep! Sensory activities always make my little guy tired.

It came out looking just like real honey! The project definitely simulates painting with honey too, which is great for littles who are too small to experience the real thing. The corn syrup mixture takes a long time to dry. I had big plans of cutting it into a hive, but realized that I would probably have to toss it anyway. I can't imagine leaving this somewhere and coming back to find it covered in bugs. Eeek! That would give a whole new meaning to bug week!

I had another activity planned, but K is going through a growth spurt and took a nice long nap! When he woke up, we were more interested in watching him learn to crawl. He learned to go from lying on his back to sitting up today which is a huge milestone. He is such a busy little bee! 


  1. Brilliant! I love the sticky honey painting.

    1. Thanks! It was really funny to watch his reaction to the texture!

  2. This is such a wonderful post! I love all the simple, yet engaging activities, and how you were careful to follow your little guy's lead when he was interested and when he had had enough. What a great mama you are!

    1. Thanks you so much Stephanie!! Your sweet words made my day! :)