Bees!

Bees!

It occurred to me that the ladybirds I used to make my counting ladybirds (here) were the same shape as bees so, with the (hopeful) summer coming along, I decided to make some.

Ladybird Maths from Rachel (",)

Thought I’d share how I made them…

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Ok, so they started out like this:

Unfinished 'ladybirds' - from Rachel (",)

Firstly I painted all of the ‘bees’ yellow. It took 3 coats of paint (the ladybirds only needed 2 coats). Then I painted the noses black – only 1 coat of paint needed for this.

Painting the bees - from Rachel (",)

The stripes were a tricky business!

The spots & numbers on the ladybirds were done with permanent marker & were really easy to do. The stripes? Not so easy! I used a pen for the first bee, but my unsteady hand left the lines so wobbly that I thought I’d have a go with paint for the next one. Unfortunately, my (cheap) paintbrush splayed out & left blank paint marks (which I subsequently went over with the pen), so I decided to stick with the marker.

Painting the bees - from Rachel (",)

I’ve decided that the slightly wobbly lines will just have to add to the ‘charm’ of the homemade nature of them. I’m sure the 3 & 4 year olds in my class aren’t going to be too worried about it 😉

I wasn’t sure what to do about the numbers – the numbers on the back of the ladybirds equated to the total number of spots on the front. In the end, I decided just to number them 1 to 10.

I finished them off with a coat of quick dry varnish.

Counting bees - from Rachel (",)

I’m quite pleased with the end result; I think we’ll enjoy using them 🙂

Counting bees - from Rachel (",)

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When I showed my Nursery Nurse the idea for ladybird glass nuggets (these ones) a few months ago, she suggested that we could make bees too. So I did…

Glass nugget bees from Rachel (",)

Aren’t they cute?!

My plan is to use them in a number activity, but I’m sure they’ll get used for other purposes too.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel (“,)

30 Comments

  1. These are the bees-knees! They look really effective and I’m sure the children will find ways of using them! Have you thought about making big flowers and putting 5 bees out to explore simple addition or number bonds to 5? My children would love the play that 🙂 well done Rache. Fantastic again!

    Reply
    • Thanks Han! Yes, am thinking about using them with a summer addition type theme. Liking the flower idea! 😀

      Reply
  2. I’ve just found this page thanks to the wonder of Twitter. Your bees are fantastic. Where are the wooden ones from – I have to make some of my own! #inspired

    Thanks, Emma (@emmadee77)

    Reply
  3. Rachel these bees and ladybirds are beautiful! And my class love tiny things to play with! Could you tell me where you managed to buy them pls?
    Thanks Chantal.

    Reply
    • Hi Chantal, I have just emailed you the link – Rachel (“,)

      Reply
  4. Hi, I am a trainee teacher currently on placement in a special needs school and have just seen your beautiful ideas! My class would love these bees and ladybirds! I have tried searching for the un-painted wooden ladybirds on ebay but cannot seem to find them, please could you tell me where I can get them? Thanks, Jodie.

    Reply
    • Of course, Jodie! I’ll send you an email (“,)

      Reply
  5. Hi there, am loving all the inspirational ideas, thank you for sharing. Just a quick question, when you use Sharpie pen on the glass beads did you varnish over after? Only, I’m numbering some white beads and if I rub hard the numbers are coming off?? I want to use them in the sand and am thinking they won’t last long –
    Thanks, Susie

    Reply
    • Hi Susie! Yes I put a little varnish over them. I mentioned in the ladybirds post that they smudged when so many little fingers played with them. I actually used the same varnish as I used for the wood, but it’s not ideal – I’ll have to varnish them again eventually. Suspect a ceramic varnish might be better (“,)

      Reply
  6. Love your site – great provocations. Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Hi there, love love love this!

    Reply
    • Hi Emma, glad you like it (“,)

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  8. Lovely resources.

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    • Thanks Katie (“,)

      Reply
  9. inspirational ,could you send me a link please.

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  10. I love your site, I keep telling my team about it, please could I have the link for the unfinished ladybirds, and how do you make your mirrors safe or are your children careful??! Thank you

    Reply
    • Thanks for the lovely comment! (“,)
      My individual mirrors (such as the Ikea ones) all have masking tape across the entire back, so that they won’t shatter if dropped. The free-standing mirrors don’t though. The children are told to be careful & so far we’ve had no problems 🙂

      Reply
  11. Such an an amazing site, so inspirational! I have spent this half term scouring ebay and charity shops for ‘treasure’! I’ve made some toadstools, which I’m really pleased with, and would like to make the bees and ladybirds but can’t find any shapes. Can you please let me know where you got them from. Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Hi Rachel,

    I love your lady bugs & bees, what a lovely manipulative for counting. Where about’s on eBay did you find the original lady bugs?

    Thanks,
    Jen

    Reply
  13. Hi Rachel – just found your site…can I have the link for the ladybirds too, and also where do you get all your glass pebbles and marbles from? Thank you 😀

    Reply
    • I’ve bought the glass nuggets over many years – they used to be so cheap! If you search eBay or Amazon for glass pebbles, lots come up – not so cheap anymore, I’m afraid!

      Reply
  14. Hi Rachel, These bees are amazing, loving all your fantastic ideas! Can I have the link for the ladybirds please! Thanks Lisa

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  15. I am in awe of your work!! Everything is so inspiring. Would you please email me a link to where to buy the un painted ladybirds! Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  16. Hi, love these! Would you mind sending me the link for the ladybirds please x

    Reply
    • Try searching unfinished ladybirds on eBay, Sarah 🙂

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      • just loved this idea!!!! I have spent most of tonight looking for these Bugs on the net. Unfortunately, as I live in Aust the postage is HUGE. AU$24 from USA.
        The uk suppliers didnt post to Aust. 🙁

        Reply
        • Oh what a shame!
          Fingers crossed for finding an Australian stockist xx

          Reply
  17. These are fabulous where can I buy these?

    Reply
    • They are unfinished ladybirds from eBay 🙂

      Reply

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