Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Buzzin' Bees

Our theme this week is Picnics. One of the crafts we are doing is taking three days to make, so I will share the finished product tomorrow. But today we learned about a certain picnic pest. Not the harmless ants, but the scarier, more annoying insect. The bumble bee. Now get ready for the cutest little bees you ever did see!
I was looking around the web for a cute bee craft (there are plenty out there!) or some bee template I could use, when it suddenly dawned on me that each child can design his or her own bee! I loved this idea! Not just because there was less work for me to prepare, but each one is unique and absolutely adorable, and the kids got plenty of fine motor practice. To make our bees, we used:

-yellow construction paper
-white construction paper
-black paint
-black pipe cleaners
-wiggle eyes
-glue and masking tape

I usually have an art center set up at the same time as other centers, and the kids can choose to come to the art table if they wish. But today we all made the bees at the same time. We talked about what shapes bees could be and then the kids drew either a big circle or a big oval on their yellow paper. This would be the bee body. Then they made a smaller circle or oval for the bee head. The kids did their best to cut them out. I did have to help most of them (I have a pretty young group), but I made sure to stay on their pencil lines so the bee would be exactly how they drew it.
They used a glue stick to attach the head to the body. Then they painted black stripes on their bee.
This step probably should have been done last because we had to wait for it to dry before we could do the rest of the bee. So you might want to take that into consideration.
They quickly added some wiggle eyes to the head before I put them up to dry.
Next I handed out a piece of white paper folded in half. On this one the kids could draw another shape for the wings. They only had to draw one because when cut, it would make two.
Some kids made ovals, but a couple made the letter B! Cute!
I cut them out (during nap time) because many kids had trouble with the yellow paper and this one would be twice as thick. I decided to give the kids a break! After nap they glued the wings to the back of their bee, drew on a smile, and I helped them tape on a pipe cleaner stinger and antennae.
The kids could shape the antennae any way they wanted. And the end result was a totally one-of-a-kind bumble bee!
I had to be careful about the antennae because some kids drew their smile on as if the bee was flying down. So the antennae couldn't stick out the bottom, but had to be tucked behind the head.

Tomorrow we are going to try to make a big hive. If we succeed, I will be sure to add to this post. Here are some more cuties:

I made a big bee hive today. I taped a bunch of brown construction paper together, folded it in half and drew half a bee hive on it. Then I cut it out and opened it up. I used a cup dipped in brown paint to decorate it.
I painted a door on the front, hung it up and added the bees.
I was going to add the words, "Busy as Bees" but I never got around to it.

Fun Fact: Only female bees sting because the stinger is part of their reproductive design.


Ricky Johnson said...

Fun Fact 2: The long black sticks on their head are called antennae and are used to smell.

Lovely craft work!

Rachel@I Heart Crafty Things said...

Fun idea!! They all turned out so unique and cute!