Happy Pollinator Week! This may seem like an odd ‘holiday’ to celebrate and it certainly is not as well known as many other holidays but I think it is a great time to teach about all of our beneficial pollinators. Each year in June a week is designated as National Pollinator Week in order to celebrate and educate people about our pollinators. Pollinators are vital to our food supply and environment but unfortunately, many of them are declining in population.
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Several years ago, we became much more aware of pollinators and all they do for us, as we became hobby beekeepers. This experience has taught us so much about bees and pollinators in general. Last year we even lost an entire hive of bees to a municipal spraying program designed to reduce the mosquito population but accidentally reached our bees. I think that the best way to help the pollinators is teaching children about them and their importance. There are many small ways that we can help in our own homes to protect them and allow their populations to grow and thrive.
For many people the term pollinator brings bees to mind. Bees are an important pollinator but they are not the only pollinators; birds, bats, butterflies and even beetles are all important pollinators. As we celebrate this week, I encourage you to start by educating your children about the various pollinators and then finding at least one small way in which you can support pollinators in your area. I will also include a list of some fun crafts and recipes to turn your learning into a fun celebration. If you have time, I encourage you to look for local field trip opportunities to really get hands on in your learning.
There are many resources for learning about pollinators. The American Beekeeping Foundation has some great information and resources. Pollinator Works is a great website to learn about various pollinators. In addition to websites, there are an abundance of books that talk about pollination and pollinators such as Bees, Bugs and Butterflies, What Lily Gets From a Bee, and From Seed to Sunflower. I have also included a more extensive list of websites, videos, and books at the end of this post.
Once you have learned a little about pollinators, it is time to take action to help the pollinators. There are many things you can do right in your own yard to help various pollinators. You can plant beneficial plants, set up habitats conducive for birds, or clean up trash that is dangerous for the birds. You can check your garden and lawn chemicals to make sure that they are safe for pollinators. Watch for plants treated with Neonicotinoids. If you need more ideas, Kidsgardening.org has a great list of Ten Tips to Help Pollinators.
Now it is time for a little fun! Try to make a pipe cleaner bee, draw a chalk pastel bird, or even hatch your own butterflies. You can make cookies shaped like pollinators, taste some raw honey or bake a honey dessert (baklava anyone?). You could even listen to Flight of The Bumble Bee while you enjoy your pollinator snacks. See the list below for more recipes and craft ideas.
Finally, if you have a little more time try to fit in a pollinator field trip. You could find a local butterfly garden, a beekeeper that is willing to show off his hives, a science museum with displays, or even a zoo that has bats, birds or bees. This week there are many places doing special pollinator activities but if you cannot make it this week there are still lots of opportunities to learn more about this wonderful animals from various experts.
I hope that these resources are helpful as you learn more about pollinators and what we can do to help their populations grow and thrive. If you do something to help out our pollinators or learn more about them, I would love for you to share in the comments. I have also started this Pinterest Board for pollinator resources.
Books and Websites on Pollinators
Magic School Bus in a Bee Hive (video)
Magic School Bus (episode on bats and one on butterflies)
Crafts and Recipes
Bee Themed snack (fruit and kix)
Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure
When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.
This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.
Deals and Freebies
Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!