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Studying Bees – Montessori Science

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studying bees

Studying bees is super fun for kids as they can then observe the bees in real life. See beautiful Montessori materials and ideas for learning about bees.

I need to write more about this soon but we traveled for most of last year. While we had amazing real-life experiences as a family, attempting Montessori homeschooling while traveling did prove difficult.

As you can imagine, one of the biggest challenges was choosing which materials to bring. We have a small car and packing our entire lives into it, homeschool materials included, was not easy! I narrowed it down to the essentials, focusing on materials like the Movable Alphabet and colored bead box that we could use in many different ways, and at many different levels as my son progressed.

While this was fine, I absolutely missed the more “fun” additions like all of the beautiful Montessori science materials and extensions. (To be clear, we did not skip science for a year, but we relied more on books than materials and took advantage of all of the nature around us as we were staying in beautiful, mostly remote places.)

Now that we’re a little more settled, I have been having a lot of fun bringing more science materials onto our shelves. We still don’t have a ton of space so I rotate science materials fairly regularly. I try to always have something for geography, something for physical sciences and something for life sciences.

Our Experience with Studying Bees

One of our favorite recent adventures in science has been studying bees. Our little bee study was completely inspired by this beautiful book. (There is a book about trees in the series as well. It’s also beautiful though my kids were not quite as interested in it as the bee book.)

We got it from the library but I definitely plan on adding it to our permanent collection. The pictures are beautiful and the information is fascinating.

I found myself reading it after my kids went to bed, but it’s not too complicated for my almost 5-year-old to enjoy. He especially loved reading about how bears go about eating honey as A. A. Milne’s original Winnie the Pooh stories have long been some of his favorites.

Especially for very young children, I love focusing our Montessori science studies on things we can observe in our day-to-day life. There have been several times since we started reading this book that we’ve had the chance to observe bees on flowers while we’re out for walks and I love seeing my kids watch with fascination and connect the dots in their minds.

Preschool learning about bees

When I found my children wanting to read this book day after day, I ordered this parts of a bee wok from Etsy and it’s adorable! I’ve struggled with what to do for the “parts of” works. They’re a key part of Montessori science for young children but I don’t really want to spend the money or space to purchase all of the puzzles at this time (although I do kind of want this parts of a cricket puzzle….)

These felt materials provide a great alternative. The child still assembles and labels the bee and it comes with a card depicting a real bee with the parts labeled so the child can check their work. My son is not super excited about drawing so hasn’t done this yet, but a natural extension would be drawing or painting a bee and labeling it.

Just for fun, I also ordered this honeycomb so my kids could see and taste the honeycomb after we read so much about it. I love finding ways to incorporate culinary aspects into our Montessori homeschool routine whenever we can!

More Resources for Learning About Bees

In searching for ways to encourage my kids’ growing interest in bees, I came across many beautiful materials. Here are a few of my favorites I found, as well as some extensions I plan on exploring with my kids in the coming weeks:

  • Making a Book About Bees: Making books is a favorite activity in our house. My son loves making both story books and “research books” where he writes about and illustrates what he’s learned about a particular topic. He’s been making books about plants lately, but I suspect a book about bees will soon follow. (Note: For these books, he creates the illustrations, writes the titles, and then dictates the content to me as I write. At this stage, if he had to write all of the words, I don’t think he would want to do this work anymore.)
  • Bee Stamps: These just look fun. Kids learn so much through play so I encourage them to incorporate what they’re studying into their play when I can!
  • Lifecycle of a Bee: I almost bought this lifecycle of a bee work as well (and still might!) I think my 2.5 year old would really like this one, though it would be nice practice for older kids as well. The shop has all sorts of lifecycle materials that look beautiful.
  • Honeybee Puzzle: I really want to add this puzzle to our collection! Not only is it beautiful, it contains so much interesting information about bees. This puzzle looks amazing too!
  • Learn About How to Protect Bees: I’m not sure exactly how we’ll do this yet but I want to incorporate learning about how to protect bees into our studies. This site has some great information. I’m thinking maybe in the spring we’ll research which plants bees love and plant a small bee garden, or at least plant a few bee-friendly plants in pots on the deck.

Looking for more Montessori Homeschool Resources?

Take a peek into a detailed look at what we did in a week of Montessori homeschool! I’ll be sharing one of these recaps each month, as I personally find it really helpful to see how other families structure homeschool.

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