Beehive Activity with Counting Book

My youngest daughter, who turns two at the end of the month, is very interested in counting books right now. I was glad to find the book Over in the Meadow, illustrated by Anna Vojtech, for her to continue practice numbers and to appreciate the beautiful animal illustrations. Both the lyrical text and the repetition of pattern for counting make Over in the Meadow a solid read for young children.

Since we liked the 5 bees buzzing in the hive, we spent the morning making beehives and practiced counting with our colorful bees. I cut out a simple beehive with yellow construction paper and used a pipe cleaner to hang it. I printed out a free bee printable to go along with the hive.


A work in progress: my youngest daughter colors her 5 bees and the hive, too!

Many of you may be familiar with the song “Over in the Meadow”. As I wrote in an earlier post, we love to sing animal songs around here, and this is one of the songs my daughters especially like to listen to. There are multiple versions of the song which take artistic license with the poem’s earliest format, changing the order of animals and sometimes the noises they make. The book Over in the Meadow, however, contains the original nursery poem whose authorship is generally attributed to Olive A. Wadsworth.


My oldest daughter colors her 5 bees before cutting them out.

For another fabulous counting book with suggested activities, check out this post!

Best Ages: pre-k to 1st grade

For Parents:

  • Think creatively together: If we were in this book, what noise or word would we say?
  • In Over in the Meadow, there are 5 bees in the hive. Make a yellow beehive with construction paper and then print, cut out and color 5 bees. Practice counting to 5 together as the bees fly in and out of the hive.

For Teachers:

  • Play the song “Over in the Meadow” for your students without video while you open the book and follow along with the illustrations. Note: This song only goes through the number 5.
  • In Over in the Meadow, there are 5 bees in the hive. Make a large yellow bee hive for the center of a bulletin board. Then give each student a coloring page for a bee and instruct them to write their names on the bee. Complete your bee hive bulletin board with each student’s bee!
  • Come up with your own lyrics for your classroom. Rather than over in the meadow, perhaps you would be over in first grade

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