As we’ve been having our little bird theme, I’ve seen M’s love and understanding of nature blossom. He has been spending every spare second outside… enjoying being a kid. He’s gotten more baths in the past 3 weeks than he has in his entire life. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but that’s pretty much how it has seemed to me. :)
The first thing he does each morning is look out his window to see if any bunnies or squirrels or maybe even deer are having breakfast:and he can recognize the songs of cardinals, robins, blue jays, chipping sparrows, and chickadees. He even does a good imitation of them! He’s picked up the names of many flowers and trees just by… osmosis I guess? Sometimes I just don’t know how he knows so much!
So – on to our bird activities…
I found a cute little game here. The birds are made by taping pennies onto the playing pieces, and there are 3 dice to choose from – easy, medium, and difficult. We used the medium one which made us go back one space and/or lose a turn once in a while. The first birdie to hop along all the clouds and make his way to the tree wins. :)
I put out this bird matching game from Homeschool Share (it’s supposed to be a file folder game, but I just made it into mats). M loves this and was very interested since he hadn’t seen it in a while.
Here’s a better picture; you match up cards with enlarged details to the correct bird:
I made a set of bird picture cards of birds we have near our home. I printed two sets, then cut the name off of one set. We used these like Montessori 3-part cards.
M matched up the pictures first, then found the correct name for each bird too. This was the first time we’ve tried something like this and it went really well. Some were easier than others, like Mallard Duck and Canada Goose since they have two words in their names. He usually looked for the first letter, then decided if the rest of the word looked correct. I divided these up into smaller groups for him (there are 25 in all which would’ve been a bit overwhelming). I made an online list of these birds at enature.com so we could listen to their songs and sounds. You can read more about the cards, as well as find the link for the enature list in this post. M really enjoyed listening to the birds on the computer!
We looked through some old encyclopedias – old, as in I had them as a child and have kept them for some reason. M was fascinated with all the exotic birds pictured.
We also looked at some egg pictures and I pointed out the ones for “our” birds:
The encyclopedia also did a great job of covering the various types of beaks and feet that birds have.
We made these pipecleaner bird feet… the one on the left has three toes in front and one in back. Songbirds curl their toes around branches (M did this on his finger, and really liked it), and even sleep this way! Birds of prey (eagles, hawks, owls) also have three toes in front and one in back like this, but they have very, very sharp claws on them (the better to catch mice with – yum!). The foot on the right is like a woodpecker’s foot – two toes in front and two in back. They use their toes to dig into a tree’s wood as they climb.
We also took a look at some information I found at the Fernbank Science Center website. We learned more about bird feet and beaks and did the activity sheets pictured below…
Match the foot to the correct type of bird:
And match the beak to the type of food it’s meant for:
I was searching for ideas to make this a more hands-on learning experience for M, and the next time we do a bird theme, I will definitely use two great activities from The Adventures of Bear. First, a great hands-on beak activity here, and a bird diagram puzzle here.
Other Bird Activities:
M cut yarn into small lengths (about 4") and we put it out on our doorstep for the birds to use in their nests:
Last summer he planted some gourds, specifically meant for wren houses. Daddy drilled a hole in one, cleaned it out, and hung it up to dry all winter. This spring M painted and glazed it and we hung it in a tree. It looks like a cozy home, and we are waiting for you to move in, little wrens!
We did some super-fun bird crafts; click on the photos below to go to the post about each one…
Paper Bag Bird’s Nest:
To see a list of good children’s books we used during our little bird unit, see this post.
We learned some new songs too!
And we finished it all up with a science experiment about air pressure.
For more preschool posts, check out Preschool Corner and Weekly Wrap-Up!
Have a beautiful day! :)
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