Use a tally sheet to observe pollinators visiting a flower. If you want to be a “citizen scientist” upload your data to the Great Sunflower Project. Ages 6+ 15 min+
This activity is perfect for window-watching or outdoor quiet and reflective time. Find a place where pollinators such as bees or hummingbirds frequently visit and get a comfortable spot nearby so you can observe (we visited the Pride of Madeira blooming in our neighborhood). You can use this pollinator tally sheet or if you don’t have access to a printer, copy down the data in a notebook or piece of paper on a clipboard. Our family decided to watch one flower branch for 10 minutes and we recorded a tally mark each time a pollinator visited the branch of flowers. We also recorded the time of day, cloud cover, temperature, and approximate amount of wind. In our first 10 minutes we saw bumblebees, honeybees and hummingbirds visit our plant over 40 times! A beautiful side-effect of this focused observation was that my children started noticing other things happening nearby, like a scrub jay hopping on two feet, or the way a hummingbird’s head looks different colors when it turns. They also started asking more questions about the things they saw, like “Do you think the bumblebees like these flowers more than the honeybees?” What a great opportunity to explore more questions with kids and engage with them as scientists. When you are finished, you can find another plant to observe or record your data as part of “The Great Sunflower Project” citizen science project.
Find more Citizen Science ideas at the following sites: