In 2006, one of our founding garden parents, Deidre, made a fantastic game called The Bee Game. Her idea was to introduce the children to pollination through play. Every spring since, the kindergarten gardeners have played The Bee Game, and for years after children into the grades beg to play it all over again.
First of all, the children must reach into a little sack and pull out a card with a small swatch of fabric. This card indicates their role: flower or bee.
This photo shows a blue flower and orange flower. The children pin the felt onto their front, and carry their golden ball of pollen around with them.
The bees are striped like honey or bumble bees.
To set the scene, I explain that it is a very windy day, and the flowers are blowing madly in the wind. The bee must buzz around and land on a flower (tag them), and when this happens, the flower stops running and the bee and flower trade golden balls of pollen.
It is a good thing to be tagged, I explain, for otherwise your flower will not grow seeds. The children learn through this game that the flowers must receive a different pollen ball from their own in order to grow the seeds. Once tagged, or pollinated, the children stay still and "grow their seeds".
When the bees catch all the flowers the game ends, and then we trade costumes and play it all over again!