This summer my preschool kids at Austin Ridge Bible Church in Dripping Springs, TX enjoyed tearing construction paper in pieces to make an adorable bee! I had seen this torn paper bee on the Primary Theme Park blog where they used it for a writing project on Bees, but I thought it would also work nicely for our study on humility.
We were teaching from Luke 18:9-14, where Jesus was meeting with the Pharisees and told them a story about two men who went to the temple to pray. One of them was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. Jesus described their two very different types of prayer and heart attitudes. The tax collector was humble and knew he needed forgiveness, while the Pharisee thought he was better than everyone else. Jesus told them that God would honor them if they were humble.
The torn paper bee craft seemed perfect for reminding our kids of the main lesson idea to “Bee” Humble. This is a really good craft for teaching about any character quality, alphabet letter “B”, a “Bee” Mine Valentine’s card/craft, or as it was originally intended as a display for writing about bees.
- Bee Template printed on white tagboard
- Construction paper – yellow & black for bee, blue for background
- Glue sticks
- Tacky glue
- Black pipe cleaners
- Paper towel
- Printed circle with “Bee Humble”
Paper Bee Craft – Instructions
There is a lot of tearing up of the construction paper in this craft, so kids get practice on their fine motor skills, as well as following directions. Depending on the age of your students, there is a bit of prep work. Our kids are 3 and 4 year olds, so we precut the black and yellow paper into 1 inch strips, the paper towel wings, as well as cut out all of the template pieces. If you are short on time, you could tear up some of the yellow and black ahead of time so that kids don’t have so much to tear. We had to actually show our younger 3 year olds how to hold the strip and tear off part of it, which I hadn’t figured we’d need to instruct but it was a good opportunity to teach them.
We started the activity by passing out the body pieces and asking the kids to start tearing their yellow construction paper into pieces. They loved that there was really no specific size to tear them, so everyone’s looked unique. When they had a good pile of them, we asked them to cover about a 1/3 of the body with glue stick. If you cover too much, you end up getting alot of glue on hands and the construction paper sticks to the hand more than the paper. They started laying out the yellow pieces onto the bee’s body in rows, and then repeated the process until the body was covered, as well as the head. We told them to cover up ALL of the white part with the paper. This takes a surprisingly long amount of time, so start the craft early in your class time.
After the body and head was covered with yellow, they tore the black paper into pieces. We showed them how to use the black torn paper pieces to make stripes on the bee’s body. I would suggest that you take a marker and draw 3 vertical lines on the body so they know where to glue the black paper, because some of our younger ones had trouble with this step. They would then rub the glue stick over that black line and begin laying the black paper on the lines.
Now assemble the bee onto whatever color of paper you choose. We picked blue to represent the sky. They glued down the body and head, then glued on the eyes, wing, stinger and the circle with the words “Bee Humble Luke 18:9-14”. We had a couple of kids who requested 2 wings, and since we had some extra wings cut out we happily let them use the extras. After all of that is glued down, they took black pipe cleaners and learned how to make antennae. We showed them how to slightly curl the antenna by wrapping it around their finger, and then we used Tacky Glue to secure them onto the head of the bee. The very last step was adding a smile to their paper bee, because being humble makes God happy, so our bee was happy as well!
The kids in our class really enjoyed this craft. We have several teen volunteers in the class, and they sat near the younger kids and helped them tear and glue paper. It was surprisingly a calming activity for most of the kids and we were able to talk about the story and main idea while they were tearing the paper.
Lisa Baker is a retired 5th/6th grade teacher. She is also the mother of two grown sons and a sweet Morkie puppy, currently residing in Dripping Springs, TX, which is 30 minutes west of Austin. She started her own business as a children’s entertainer and storyteller, and entertained in local bookstores, churches, schools, events, and birthday parties for many years. Lisa currently volunteers in her local library for story times several times a month, as well as teach preschool at her church, Austin Ridge-Dripping Springs.