Counting is a fundamental skill for math success. Preschoolers love having a variety of ways to practice, which is why these insect math activities for preschool are so fun!
These free bumble bee counting cards will provide your preschoolers with twice the counting practice for a spring theme, plus a fun playdough activity, too!
Bumble Bee Counting and Spring Playdough Activity
Bumble bees can seem scary to kids, but once they learn about all the benefits bees provide to the environment, they’ll appreciate all the work those busy little bees do.
With these bumble bee counting cards, preschoolers can act out the work of a bee through play while practicing number identification and counting. They’re a great addition to your insect preschool theme or your spring preschool theme. Just download and print these counting cards and read about all the different insect math activities for preschool you can do with them.
Printable Spring and Insect Themed Centers
Springtime can be so special to preschoolers if you have the right kinds of preschool activities to add to your spring centers. Here are some printable preschool resources I’m using right now.
FAQ About Teaching Preschoolers About Bees
Bees are an important part of our ecosystems because they pollinate plants and create food that we can eat. Bees don’t just make honey; they pollinate plants and they’re critical to helping plants grow into foods we can eat. In fact, bees help provide about 1/3 of the foods we eat.
There are loads of hands-on and play-based activities you can do with your preschooler to teach them about bees. Try encouraging your preschooler to pretend to be a bee. Do lots of letter Bb activities and letter Bb crafts. Don’t forget to include lots of insect math activities for preschool, too. And of course, read books about bees!
Bees pack nectar into their beeswax honey cells (the little hexagon-shaped cells). The bees then flap their wings to dry out the nectar. You can read more about it here:
>>> How Bees Make Honey <<<
Favorite Picture Books About Bumble Bees
I love adding excellent picture books to any theme we study in preschool. And when it comes to teaching preschoolers about bumble bees, I find them particularly helpful. Here’s a book list of our favorite picture books about bees.
Free Bumble Bee Counting Cards Printable and Playdough Activity
The basic idea with this activity is that kids practice counting out the bumble bees by placing them on the cards and then transferring them to a “garden” of playdough. This provides lots of extra learning fun!
They could also use flower manipulatives and count out a flower for each of the bumble bees. This is a great way to work on one-to-one correspondence.
- bumble bee erasers or acrylic flower table scatter (or pompoms or buttons)
- FREE Bumble Bee Counting Cards
Start by making the playdough. My go-to recipe is this no-cook playdough that doesn’t call for cream of tartar. Just add some green food coloring to make it a lush garden green. Or you can use yellow playdough for pollen and honey.
Set the bumble bee counting cards out with a dish of acrylic flowers or bumble bee erasers and the playdough. (I love these white melamine bowls because they’re basically indestructible). Then invite your preschoolers to have some fun with the buzzing bees.
The Bumble Bee Counting Activity
Here’s how to use the bumble bee counting cards.
- Draw a card from the pile and identify the number.
- Place your chosen manipulative on each bumble bee picture on the card while counting at the same time.
- Then transfer the bumble bees or flowers from the bumble bee counting card into the “flower garden” (playdough), and count again.
Remember, these are a free spring printable, so be sure to download your copy at the end of this post!
My little boy was really excited to do this activity. He’s been working on his counting skills and number recognition for a while now, so this was the perfect activity for him to gain more practice this spring. Plus he loves playing with playdough, which is great for fine motor skills!
If you choose to use playdough with these spring counting cards, then you can either make one giant pancake and just squish the bee erasers into the playdough and count again, or you can make an equal number of playdough mounds and get in even more counting practice. Bonus points if you make the mounds look like flowers by using a cookie cutter!
You could use hexagon pattern blocks, too! This is really fun because they already look like they go with any preschool bee activity, and if they are placed together they look like a honeycomb!
Just like in real life, each bee has its own hexagon beeswax cell to care for. You can even turn this into an addition game by simply adding on to the honeycomb shape you’ve already started!
Make Any Activity Bumble Bee Themed!
It’s fun to go all-out (although not necessary). If you’re looking for some bumble bee manipulatives and toys to add to your bee preschool theme, you might try some of these.
4 More Ways to Use the Bumble Bee Counting Cards
Can you believe there are even more ways to use these counting cards?!
Everyone loves a free printable, but the best thing about these spring counting cards is the variety of activities you can use them for. Here are some activities for preschoolers to help you teach a range of levels:
- For older students, challenge them by asking them to identify the number first and then count the correct number on the table before matching to the bumble bees on the card. This demonstrates how strong their number sense skills are.
- For average students, invite them to sequence the cards in numerical order and start the activity with smaller number cards first. Choosing the most manageable numbers first helps preschoolers feel successful.
- For younger students, invite them to first count the bumble bees on the card by pointing to each one, helping solidify one-to-one correspondence. Then show them how to add a single bumble bee or flower to each bumble bee picture on the card, and then help them transfer the bees or flowers to the playdough. Each step here increases in difficulty in teaching one-to-one correspondence.
- For handwriting practice, you can laminate the cards so students can practice tracing the numbers using a dry erase marker. This is an excellent way for preschoolers to practice writing numbers.
GET YOUR FREE BUMBLE BEE COUNTING CARDS
Think you could use these counting cards in your math center this spring? Just click the image below and grab your copy! Then, take a look at even more spring activities below.
You Might Also Like These Videos About Bumble Bees
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.