Most adults have learned about the importance of pollinators from reading or news programs and know about the bee population decline. While we don’t want to worry our children, it’s also important to teach kids about pollinators.
If you want to pull together some lessons on pollination for kids, you may be struggling on how to begin. Read on for some ideas for hands-on pollinator lessons.
Pollinator Lessons for Kids
While adults can read articles about the importance of pollinators, young children usually do not have the ability to do so. Not only are their reading abilities limited, but their shorter attention span is also an issue.
Instead, to teach kids about pollinators, consider using different exciting hands-on projects. One popular idea is to make a pollinator garden with kids. That is one way for children to get a clear idea about what pollinators do and how humans can support them.
Pollinators for Children
Putting together a pollinator garden with kids is a win-win activity. It’s fun and interesting for the children and helpful for the pollinators. One important step in making a pollinator garden with kids is to talk with them about the importance of pollinators. Have them make lists of food items that depend on pollination and explain why.
Talk to kids about the identity of pollinators. Insect pollinators include four major groups:
- Bees and wasps
- Butterflies and moths
Other types of pollinators are bats and hummingbirds.
Other Lessons on Pollination
Explain to the children some of the factors that threaten pollinators. See if they can think of any factors and be sure to discuss habitat destruction. Then you can start planning a native wildflower pollinator garden the kids can make right near their own home, or even grow some flowers in a container (great for younger kids).
How to pick plants for a pollinator garden with kids? Prepare pollination lessons about each separate group of pollinators and provide a list of the types of plants the particular pollinator likes and needs. See which of these grow well in your area, then have the kids include at least one plant for each pollinator group in the garden.
A fun way to engage the little ones in learning about pollen and how bees collect it from flowers is by snacking on Cheetos. That’s right! Just glue a flower onto a brown paper bag (one they can color themselves or one they’ve constructed) and fill with Cheetos or cheese puffs. As they snack on these treats, their fingers will turn orange, similar to how pollen sticks to bees.
Additional pollinator activities can include:
- Scavenger hunts
- Making a bee house
- Creating paper flowers
- Coloring parts of a flower
- Making a bee bath
- Raising butterflies
- Making and planting seed balls