Activity: Pollination Game

Materials: Black and white pictures of flowers to color in, markers/colored pencils, colored chalk, yellow pom poms, black pipe cleaners, white paper, glue, old seeds

Start by having a discussion about pollination. 

What is pollen? Each flower has pollen inside it. Try to find examples- you can look inside flowers, or maybe it's blowing in the wind or all over your car! 

What is pollination? To put it simply, pollination is what needs to happen for flowers to be able to make fruit and seeds. The pollen from one flower needs to be mixed with the pollen from another flower. 

Who are pollinators? Make a list: bees, butterflies, bats, birds, moths, flies, beetles, and wasps all pollinate. The most important pollinators are bees. Pollinators pick up pollen from flowers and bring it to other flowers.

Why is this important? What would happen if we didn't have any fruit or seeds? 

Lets play a game to learn about how pollination works. Color in your printed black and white flowers. Bees and other pollinators love colorful flowers, so make sure to include lots of color! Your flower also needs some pollen. Pollen is very dusty and powdery, so we're going to use chalk to represent pollen. Use chalk to color in the center of your flower, using different colors of chalk for each flower.

Next, we need some pollinators. We're going to make bees today. Look at some pictures of bees, and notice what's all over their body. Bees are covered in fur, which helps them be efficient at picking up pollen. For this reason, we're going to make bees out of pom poms and pipe cleaners.

Glue two yellow pom poms together, and wrap a black pipe cleaner around it so it looks like stripes. Cut wings out of white paper, and glue them on or stick them under a pipe cleaner. Use your imagination when it comes to adding other bee body parts- legs, antennae, and a face!

Next, it's time to pollinate. Fly your "bee" over to the first flower to pick up some pollen. Does it easily stick to your bee's fur? Then visit the next flower, and so on. By the time you're done pollinating, you'll notice that your bee has many different colors of chalk on its fur, and the pollen on the flowers is all mixed up.

Now that the flowers have been pollinated, they're able to make seeds! Fill the center of your flower with glue, then sprinkle on some seeds and let it dry.