Craft Ideas for Kids | Bumble Bees 2 Ways image

Nothing brings joy to the Summer Nature Table quite like a Bumble Bee. Capture the open airiness of a summer's day, the pleasure of watching nature's finest workers as they bumble from flower to flower.

You will need Felt Bumble Bee: Black or Dark Brown Carded wool, Yellow and White Merino wool, Needle Felting needle, Sponge, Sewing thread, Sewing Needle, Scissors. In addition, for the Cone Bumble Bee: Alder cone, Yellow Embroidery thread, White tissue paper. (You can find Alder cones under Alder trees all year round).

A word on Needle Felting with children

When I first discovered needle felting somebody told me that it wasn't appropriate for young children to even witness adults doing this craft, due to the way that they imitate the gestures of adults around them. Looking at my son, who at the time was of an age where I was constantly having to discourage him from hitting, jabbing and poking things, I decided that this was good advice for my family! Now, at 7, I felt that he would be fine with it, and he managed the craft well, with no adverse effects! Either way, please be aware that needle felting needles are very sharp. If you are crafting with a younger child, or feel that they are not quite ready for needle felting, you can make the Felt Bee using the wet felting technique in our Wet Felted Acorns blog.

The Felt Bee

1. Leaning on your sponge, needle felt your carded will into a rounded oval shape. (Squeeze your wool as much as you can into the shape you want and then push the needle in and out of it. Every time the needle goes in it will bind the wool together and make the shape tighter).

We used brown carded wool for the main body shape and then layered some black merino on top. Felting a solid shape entirely from merino will take a long time, as the wool is so fine.

2. Pull a small piece of yellow merino wool off, twist it to bring the strands together, and wrap it around your body shape.

The yellow wool should stick to the body shape by itself, but if not you can help it with the needle.

3. Pull off a small piece of white merino wool and this time keep it spread out and fluffy. Fold the edges into the middle to create two wings, and attach them to your bee using the needle.

4. Thread your sewing needle and stitch into the bee just under where the wings are attached.

Knot your thread over the middle of the wings.

The Alder Cone Bee

1. Cut a length of yellow embroidery thread, (or take another small piece of yellow merino wool), and wrap it around your Alder cone. It should stick quite easily by itself but can be wedged into the cone if not.

2. Cut a length of sewing thread and tie it around your cone. The thread will fit easily into the gaps of the cone so that it is not visible going round.

3. Rip off a small rectangular piece of white tissue paper and twist it in the middle. Place it on top of your cone, where the thread is coming up, and knot your thread over  it.

Time for your bees to start buzzing!

We took our bees for a bumble around the garden, and look who came to say hello!

If you would like to learn more about these amazing creatures you may enjoy the Summer 2021 edition of A Year and a Day magazine.


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