San Antonio families can round out their Easter weekend with a day of hands-on nature activities at Bee Social this Saturday.
The FREE event, 10 AM – 2 PM at Peacock Alley in downtown San Antonio, includes a live beehive experience as well as a “Flight of the Bumble Bee” augmented “bee-ality” obstacle course.
“The goal is to provide an opportunity for children and families to learn about the positive impacts bees have on our lives and what we can do to care for them,” said Ashley Bird, organizer of the event.
The augmented “bee-ality” event, developed with United by Design, encourages participants to grab a buddy and navigate a bumble bee-themed obstacle course.
Kids don bumble bee costumes while one looks at an iPad which triggers the augmented reality and makes it visible. The iPad viewer then directs the partner where to go. “You go through life as a bumble bee,” Bird explained. “First, it’s congrats! You’ve been born into royalty as a queen bumblebee. Your first job is to find a male drone.”
When participants find and then touch the virtual drone bee on their iPad, they’re encouraged to build a hive. The exercise lasts four-five minutes. “It’s kind of an obstacle course crossed with a scavenger hunt,” Bird explained.
A former Montessori school teacher, manager of San Antonio’s annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, and founder of digital learning company Blooming with Birdie, Bird is passionate about incorporating Montessori principles and creating digital learning experiences that teach children that technology is a tool for learning—not escape.
She launched her company during COVID as part of the 2020 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival with a four-part series on monarch butterflies. The goal at the time was to offer high quality, engaging, TEKs-aligned content and curriculum to take a load off overworked teachers.
Bee Social will continue that mission, which Bird describes as a mash-up between Mr. Rogers and Montessori, with nature as the focus.
The event will also provide a hands-on preview to Bird’s next series, “You, Me and the Bees,” which will be released this summer and focuses more on educational entertainment vs. classroom learning.
Bee Social’s family friendly fun will include a live beehive tour with Scientist Cecile Parrish, a farmer and master beekeeper, a planting activity by Rainbow Gardens, seedball making, honey snacks, and waggle dancing to a curated song list assembled by DJ Nova Soul.
TOP PHOTO: Master beekeeper, Scientist Cecile Parrish, and Blooming with Birder founder Ashley Bird–Photo courtesy of Blooming with Birdie
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