If you’re learning about pollination with your students or kids this school year, try out some of these fun pollination activity ideas in your classroom!
1. Insect Vision
A flower that looks fairly plain to the human eye may look completely different through the eyes of an insect! Flower petals sometimes reflect UV and infrared light, which are colors that the human eye cannot see but are visible to some insect pollinators. Grab a black light marker, black light, paper, and regular markers. Start by using a regular marker to draw the outline of a flower. Then, create “invisible” patterns on the petals with the black light marker. Then shine the black light on your flower to reveal the hidden designs!
2. Pollinator Garden
Plant a pollinator garden with native wildflower species to attract pollinators to your yard. Start by researching native wildflower species in your local area. A plant nursery or garden center can be a great place to start.
3. Flower Dissection
Dissect a flower to learn about flower anatomy. Can you find the stamen, carpel, petals, and sepals? Talk about how brightly colored petals can attract pollinators, how stamens spread pollen onto the pollinator’s body or legs, and how carpels have pollen tracked onto them by the pollinators.
4. DIY Flower Anatomy Diagram
Here’s a fun pollination activity idea that’s completely free! Color in my printable diagram of flower anatomy. Download one for free!
5. Pollination in Action
Visit a butterfly pavilion or butterfly house to observe pollination up close!
6. Metamorphosis and Migration
Raise and release monarch or painted lady butterflies. You can even find kits to band monarch butterflies and discover if they migrated successfully! For more information on monarch banding and tracking visit Monarch Watch.
7. Healthy Habitats
Participate in an invasive species removal workday at a local natural area. This will help create room for the native wildflowers to grow and feed pollinators!
8. Honey Fun
Learn about how bees make honey (for example, here’s an article about bees making honey from Southern Cross University). Then cook or bake with something with honey!
9. Waggle Dance
Read about or watch a video of the “waggle dance” that bees use to tell hive members the distance and direction to flowers (e.g., here’s a waggle dance video on YouTube from Bienentanz GmbH). Then, try doing your own waggle dance in the same pattern as the bee!
10. Pollination at Night
If you have night-time opening flowers in your area (e.g., evening primrose, moonflower, night phlox), go for a nighttime walk with a flashlight to observe the open flowers. Go back during the day to see them when they are closed.
11. Unusual Pollinators
12. Symbiotic Relationships
Did you know that pollination is a type of symbiotic relationship between a plant and a pollinator? Learn more about symbiotic relationships with my mini study pack:
More Pollination Materials From Wild Earth Lab:
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