Weekly Activities at Kidbrooke Park - Pollination and Bee Hotel
Book(s) of the week: Dandelion and Butterfly by Jinny Johnson.
Main Activity: This week we talked about pollination which can be tricky for children to understand but because it's so important we thought we would base our weekly activity around it.
We started by explaining to the children that pollination is the process by which flowering plants grow more of themselves or reproduce. We told them that in some cases, the wind and rain blows pollen between plants but that most plants need bees, butterflies and other insects to pollinate from one plant to the next. We said that when a bee, or other insect lands on a flower, small bits of pollen stick to its legs and as the bee flies to the next plant, it takes the pollen with it. We added that plants rely on bees and other insects to make this happen and if they ever stopped pollinating, it could damage the plants that grow fruit and produce oxygen. We finished by saying that people need the bees, the plants, and food they provide to survive and preserve the planet and we would not have fruit to eat or beautiful flowers to see without pollination which is why it's so important.
Extension Activity: After leaning how important bees are for our ecosystem, the children wanted to make a place for the bees to visit and hopefully live so we set about making them their own luxury bee hotel! We started by measuring out our lengths of wood and marking marks where we needed to saw the wood. We clamped the wood firmly in a workbench and started to cut the lengths of wood to size. When we had all of our pieces, we set about fixing them together with a hammer and nails. The children then painted the hotel in bee like colours to make it especially attractive. Once dry, we started putting various things inside for the bees such as tubes of bamboo and cardboard and also some fabric. To finish it off we put chicken wire across the front and topped it off with our sign which said "Welcome Home Bees" (just in case it attracted any particularly clever little bees who had learned to read like Amelia from the Bumble Bear book).
Home Activity: Follow the link below to see a diagram produced by the Eden Project aimed at explaining pollination to children. Ask you child to draw or paint a picture of either a bee or butterfly on a brightly coloured flower and upload it to Tapestry.