Cardboard rolls make great pretend honeycombs! In our Fireflies® April Curriculum Guide (p. 33), we suggest creating a honeycomb using cardboard tubes and paper clips. Recap what a honeycomb looks like. A honeycomb is group of wax cells with six sides inside a beehive, used to store honey or protect baby bees. A six-sided shape is called a hexagon. Explain to the children that you will be making honeycombs using sections of cardboard tubing. Here is a step-by-step picture tutorial of how to complete the activity.
- cardboard tubes
- paper clips
Step 1: Flatten the cardboard tubes, and cut them into approximately 1″ sections.
Step 2: Flatten each section so it looks a bit like a football shape.
Step 3: Fold the top portion of each section forward while folding the bottom portion backwards, creating a Z-shape. Crease well. Open the section and bend each crease again to create a hexagon shape. Please note: Not all cardboard tubes are created equal. I had trouble creating an identifiable hexagon shape with some of my cardboard tubes. The purpose of the activity is to focus on fine motor practice. You can eliminate this step and just use circles to save time.
Step 4: Offer paper clips to the children. Demonstrate how to attach the cardboard pieces together with the paper clips. Encourage the children to attach as many sections together as they wish. The more sections they connect, the bigger their honeycombs will be! Have each child count the number of sections used to create his or her honeycomb. Who used the most?
Adaptation: Young fingers may not be ready to manipulate paper clips. Offer mini clothespins for younger children to attach the sections. Also check out our blog article Building a Honeycomb: Toddler Adaptation for a simpler version of this activity using Velcro!
Extension: Consider challenging the children to connect their individual sections together to create one large honeycomb. Place the giant honeycomb in your dramatic play area to enhance the children’s bee play!