National Pollinator Week: Teaching kids the real birds and bees

Parents can offer kids a perfect out-of-school science lesson by teaching them how flowers grow, thanks to the work of bugs and other animals that pollinate. 

By , Guest blogger

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    Honeybees populate a comb at Honey Hill Orchard in Waterman, Ill. on June 5.
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June 16-22 is National Pollinator Week. It’s a week to celebrate and educate about pollinating animals, such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and others, which are extremely vital to our ecosystem. Pollinators support much of our wildlife, lands and watersheds.

According to the US Forest Service, nearly 80 percent of the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world that produce all of our food and plant-based industrial products require pollination by animals.

There are many simple ways to welcome pollinators into our home gardens and other outdoor spaces. In addition to helping the earth’s ecosystem and food supply, you’ll also experience the fascination and wonder that comes from observing the animals you attract. Here are a few ways to get more involved:

Recommended: 10 Timeless backyard games for warm weather fun

Find or add an event through Pollinator Partnership, a wonderful resource about pollinators year-round.

Garden for wildlife with tons of tips and guides from the National Wildlife Federation, which offers a Certified Backyard Habitat Program.

Check out NWF gardeners’ favorite plants for attracting pollinators.

Find more information about gardening for wildlife from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Join the Great Sunflower Project and many other citizen science projects that allow you to help researchers right from your own backyard or a local park.

Spring at the Bird Cafe and bird feeder activity.

Make a quick and easy bird feeder to attract and observe birds.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Susan Sachs Lipman blogs at Slow Family Online.

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