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WEEKLY ADVENTURES

daily activities

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05
DAY 2

Kingdom of Bugs

The Hardest Working Bugs on Earth

You've probably heard the phrases “busy as a bee” and “ants in your pants,” and that's for a good reason: When it comes to getting the job done, no other bugs beat the production capabilities of bees and ants. (And did you know that ants and bees are "cousins"?) Find out today what makes these two creatures such hard workers and good team players.

what you’ll need

  • A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
  • A pencil and a black marker
  • A large jar
  • Tape
  • A piece of sponge
  • An empty soft drink can
  • Food scraps
  • Construction paper (black)
  • An old egg carton
  • Paint and a paint brush
  • 4 pipe cleaners
  • Glue

You'll also need some dirt and a few ants for today's activities, but we'll collect those later!

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FOR PARENTS

Ask About Today

What are the different roles you'll find in an ant colony or a beehive? How do these insects communicate with one another?

Dinner Discussion

Where would you prefer to live: an ant colony or a beehive? Why?

Skip the Ads

Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.

explore

30 minutes

Get down to business with the busiest bugs around.

01

All the Ants

There are over 14,000 species of ants with different environmental adaptations, but they all have perfected the art of teamwork and communication.

WATCH

Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.

02

Hardcore Ants

In this video, learn about 7 types of "unbelievably hardcore" ants you might (or might not) see in your neighborhood.

WATCH

Ant Collector? Before you start this video, place just a few crumbs of food outside your home (but far enough from the front door so ants don't invite themselves in!). When you're done with all the EXPLORE activities for today, see if any ants have come to enjoy the feast.

03

Bees to the Rescue

You might want to avoid a run-in with a stinger, but the truth is, we need bees—a lot. Years ago, ancient Egyptians used honey as medicine to cover wounds and burns. And course, today, our planet still relies on these insects to help plants reproduce.

For younger explorers

Ants Go Marching

You know how ants always seem to be showing up at a picnic? How do they know there's food around?

create

15-45 minutes

Normally you probably don't want insects in your house. But today, they're just made of paper.

01

Build an Ant Home

Underground cameras can give us an up-close and personal look at the lives of ants in their colonies. But you don't need high-tech equipment to observe these underground insects. All you really need is a glass jar (or another clear container), a soda can, tape, a piece of sponge, and some black construction paper. Take a look at these directions and then build your own ant habitat.

CHECK IT OUT

Test Your Habitat: When you've got their habitat made, head outside to add some dirt and a few ants, if you can find them. They might be hanging out around that food you put out earlier.

For younger explorers

Egg Carton Ant

Ever wanted a pet ant? No? Well, even if it's not your dream pet, they're still fun to make, starting from an old egg carton.

CHECK IT OUT

Don't have all the materials? No worries. Get creative with items from your house to create their eyes, legs, and antennae. (And remember, you can always draw your ant's face on, too!)

read

30 minutes

Next, read on to learn more about these incredibly industrious insects.

01

Bug Relations

One flies from flower to flower while the other marches across the ground. But these two insects have more in common than you might think.

02

Queen of the Hive

Queen bees expect all the luxury that comes with royalty—they even make their worker bees fan the air with their wings to keep the hive cool. Find out more about the different roles bees play within the hive.

03

At Your Service

Meanwhile, ants are just as loyal to their queens as queens are demanding of their colonies. They work so closely together to support the queen that ant colonies are often referred to as a single organism, also known as a “superorganism."

For younger explorers

Meet the Bees

The San Diego Zoo wants you to fall in love with bees. Read on to learn more about these buzzworthy creatures.

For younger explorers

Please Please the Bees

Read along with Please Please the Bees by Gerald Kelly.

For younger explorers

Are You a Bee?

Read along with Are You A Bee? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries.

play

30 minutes

Ants and bees are both amazing communicators. It's almost like they can read their colony- or hive-mates' minds. These games will have you thinking like a bug—or at least trying to.

01

20 Questions

Practice your mind-reading skills by playing 20 Questions. To play this game, think about something or someone and hold the image in your mind. A family member or friend can ask you up to twenty yes or no questions—but no more—in order to guess what you're thinking of. Take turns and see if you can figure out what's in someone else's mind with as few questions as possible.

Need a Team? This game works just as well over Zoom or FaceTime. Invite a grandparent, another long-distance relative, or a remote friend to play along with you.

For younger explorers

Sort the Bugs

Put your "sorting hat" on and sort the different insects in this fun game.

move

30 minutes

Did you know that bees are also choreographers of their own dances? Today, dance like a bee...kinda.

01

The Waggle Dance

Bees have created their own dance move. It's called The Waggle Dance. (Seriously.) Bees do this dance move to inform other bees in the hive where to find an excellent source of pollen. First, watch this short video about the Waggle Dance, then try dancing like a bee.

02

Flight of the Bumblebees

Next, go above and beyond by thinking of your own new dance that communicates something important. Choreograph your dance to "Flight of the Bumblebees," then perform it for your family.

more to explore

15-30 minutes

Still want to beeee learning? Explore some more!

01

Disappearing Bees

Bees are mother nature's natural pollinator—and as you've learned, they're busy. It's estimated that bees and other pollinating insects are responsible for over one-third of the world's crops. Without them, many of the plants we rely on for food would die off. So why are the world's bees disappearing? And is there anything we can do about it?

02

Royal Jelly

Queen bees produce what we call "royal jelly," and it sounds like something that would be delicious with your morning toast. But it’s actually bee snot! Find out what makes the queen bee so fabulously royal.

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