Here’s a fun DIY bumble bee game. It’s great hands-on activity to play maths games or work on spelling.
Bumble bee game: math and spelling
Have you got some plastic eggs left over from Easter? Pick out the yellow ones and use a black permanent marker pen to turn them into little bumble bees.
Prepare some number or letter tiles to go inside them. Use a permanent marker to write on a piece or foam or card, and then cut out each individual letter or number. You can use this game for both spelling and math practise – see below for some suggestions.
Pop your playing tiles inside a bumble bee…
And then set your bees in your beehive – made from a painted cardboard box, with an open top so they can fly in, and slot in the bottom so you can take them out. Add in a little pretend play. We had fun making our bees fly around their garden, collecting ‘nectar’ numbers.
To play, take out a bumble bee from your hive, and open it up to see what it’s got inside. If you have some letters: can you re-arrange them to spell out a word?
If you have a pair of numbers: can you add them together to work out their total?
Or re-arrange a selection of numbers into a line, going from smallest to biggest?
More ways to play
You can use this game for both numbers and letters, using the ideas above.
Prepare some sets of tiles so you can work on your child’s current spelling list, or sight words.
Or make a set of vocabulary words all on a theme: perhaps some garden words to match your bee theme, or the names of everyone in your family. Unscrambling words is great brain work!
For maths games, you can use pairs of numbers that you have to add or subtract. Make it more of a challenge by using bigger numbers, or having three or four numbers to add together.
Use them for times tables, with two numbers in each bee that you have to multiply together.
Children can play in pairs or in a group. Once they have picked a bee and answered the number or letter puzzle inside, they can pick some more tiles to go inside. Then they can pop the bumble bee back in its hive ready for the next child to pick. A perpetual game they can make and play by themselves.
Are you working on a nature-theme? Try these flower number games.
And come and join us in our Garden Classroom.
I Can Teach My Child To Read resources
Download your copy of our practical and wonderful resource I Can Teach My Child To Read. It contains a 10-step program, that will give you the knowledge and confidence to teach your child to read, along with practical tips and fun activities to use together. See more here.