Bees are a valuable part of the ecosystem. Teaching kids about them eliminate their fear of bees and is also a way of conserving and protecting them given their already dwindling population. However, teaching kids is not a walk in the park due to their short attention spans. Here are 5 tips to help you educate kids about bees
1. Show Your Enthusiasm about Bees
Be enthusiastic when talking about bees, and try to share the most intriguing and fascinating facts about them to pique the kid’s interests. Tell them what fascinates you the most about bees and honey; be it the fact that they are the only insects that make food for humans, or that honey doesn’t expire. By being passionate and enthusiastic about the subject, the excitement can rub onto the children and make them eager to learn more about bees.
2. Incorporate Visual Aids When Teaching
Visual aids help kids get a clearer picture of what you are trying to explain. Incorporate photographs, videos, and slides when explaining to them about your subject. For example, you can have pictures of bees festooning, videos of them laying eggs or honey harvesting videos. This way, the kids get a better understanding through observation. While visual aids may help you organize your learning session, be mindful not to use too much of them. They may end up being a distraction rather than enhancing your teaching.
3. Use Tactile Aids
During your teaching session, bring in physical objects for demonstration purposes. These may include bee smokers, beehive model boxes, beekeeping suits, and even honey and honeycombs. Explain to them what they are, and let them touch and even use them after the lesson. Letting the kids interact with these objects during the class may make them lose their concentration. Hence, only allow them access to the objects after you are done teaching.
4. Questions and Games
A great way to engage with the kids and keep them active is by asking them questions and including fun activities like games into their learning sessions. This stimulates their imagination and keeps the learning session lively. You can decide to ask them general questions on bees or encourage them to share their experiences with bees.
Games give kids a break and help them retain what they have learned. Try a game like musical chairs where kids move around buzzing and when the music stops, they try to land on set “flowers”. Educational games like Queenspotting and The Story of Bees are also great ways for kids to learn and have fun at the same time.
5. Go for Beehive Tours
Give the kids a real-life experience by taking them to for beehive tours and honey farm visits. These tours are an opportunity to watch bees in their natural setting and also learn about how honey is made. It is important to go for these tours after giving them a presentation on what they will find so that they know what to expect, and also ask informed questions while in the field. Always ensure that the kids are wearing beekeeping suits for protection before visiting the bees to avoid getting stung.
For successful teaching, always have a structure or plan of what you are going to talk about to avoid going off the topic. Since kids can become overly excited, make sure you are in control enough to keep them attentive for better learning. After the session, you can give them a taste of honey to reinforce the benefits of bees and also reward them for being attentive!