When we were younger, one of the books that my sister insisted our parents read over and over again was The Big Honey Hunt by Stan and Jan Berenstain. It was her favorite book, and to this day my parents can still recite some of it from memory. When I found the book at my parents house, I couldn’t wait to share it with my daughter. With summer fast approaching, it was the perfect opportunity to have some fun with bee activities!
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The Big Honey Hunt was written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain. It is the debut of the Berenstain Bear family. The story follows Papa Bear and “Small Bear” (who later becomes Brother Bear) as they go on a mission to get more honey for the family. The father insists he doesn’t need the honey from the store. He will show Small Bear how to get honey from a bee instead. They follow a bee, trying to find his tree, but they quickly discover it isn’t that easy! The fun story and illustrations are sure to entertain kids, (and moms will definitely appreciate the end of the story!). There are a lot of fun activities that you can pair with this book.
Make your own bees!
Bee Craft – We created a fun bee craft which also helped my daughter to work on fine motor skills. Brush some glue onto a paper plate. Set out pieces of yellow and black construction paper. Have kids rip up the yellow paper (because what kid doesn’t love ripping things!), and place the pieces onto the glue. When the plate is covered, put stripes of glue over it. Have kids cut black stripes or rip up black paper into pieces. Place the black paper over the glue to give the bee his stripes. Use the remaining black and yellow paper to create a head, face and antennae for the bee.
Follow the bee!
Following the (Bee) Leader Obstacle Course – Papa Bear and Small Bear follow the bee through a lot of obstacles while trying to find his honey tree. To bring this part of the book to life, I created an obstacle course in our yard. I also created a pair of bee antennae out of a headband and some yellow pipe cleaners. We took turns being the “bee” and leading the other through the obstacles. My daughter really liked leading me around and showing off on all of the obstacles. You can easily set up obstacles using whatever you have on hand. Have kids take turns leading the group, or even creating their own obstacles!
Bee Oreos – Emma at Me & B Make Tea created these adorable bee cookies out of Oreos for Valentine’s Day! She uses ready to roll icing and and flaked almonds to create this adorable snack which kids will adore! Who doesn’t love Oreo cookies? Check out how she made them on her post.
Make a match!
Bee Stripe Pattern Match – This is a fun game that is easy to set up, and helps kids to practice memory skills and pattern recognition. Cut several yellow circles out of construction paper. Use a black crayon or marker to create pairs of bees with matching stripes or patterns. Turn them upside down and have kids take turns trying to make pairs.
Honey Pot Match – This is an easy game for practicing number recognition and counting skills! Using the printable patterns, cut out a set of bees and honey pots. Let kids color the bees and write numbers on the honey pots. Have kids match the correct number of bees to each pot.
The Big Honey Hunt celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2012, which means that generations of kids have enjoyed this story! It is a classic which launched the popular Berenstain Bear family into pop culture. It offers so many opportunities for learning activities and fun discussions during your reading time together!