Thursday, March 22, 2012

10 Ways to Learn About Birds


We've been enjoying our time learning about birds this week. Birds are all around and fun to learn about. They're fascinating and so different from me or you, or even the family dog. If your kids are interested in birds, I've compiled 10 fun ways to help your kids learn about birds.

1. Observe birds. We are fortunate to have been able to visit the National Eagle Center and observe eagles up close. Through observation, we've learned size, color, sound and the impressive wing span of an eagle. Unfortunately, it's not always practical to be able to observe birds at a location devoted to them. Luckily, birds are everywhere! Take a trip to a local lake, river, or hiking trail. Or, even better, just walk out into your own backyard. Having Fun at Home shares a creative way to observe and keep track of the birds that visit their backyard.


2. Listen to birds. While you're observing, use your ears. What do birds sound like? Can you identify a bird by it's call? ENature.com has an amazing collection of bird calls that you can listen to for free. Listen to all the different calls. Amazing, isn't it?


3. Feed the birds. Learn about the different food that birds eat and create a bird-friendly yard. We made Cheerio bird feeders and Glittering Muffins made simple bird feeders out of cardboard tubes. You could also use this recipe for bird cakes from Red Ted Arts. (I found many, many wonderful ways to feed birds. Please check my Birds Pinterest Board for all the great ideas!)



4. Read a book about birds. There are many books written for kids about birds. You should be able to find one at any age level. We've enjoyed A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz JenkinsThe Bird Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta, and About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill. Your local library is sure to have a collection of bird books for children.

5. Learn about nests. We were recently able to study a real bird's nest. But, if you don't have one, you can make your own! Sun Hats and Wellie Boots made nests from mud and twigs. Mommy & Me Book Club made large nests from branches and twigs. Get hands on and learn how a nest is put together.


6. Help a bird build a nest. While you won't actually be able to work side-by-side with a bird, you can provide them with materials to help build their nests. Paint Cut Paste shows you how to make fun nest zests and Inner Child Fun shows you how to make colorful bird nesters. Learn about the materials used to build a nest and help the birds at the same time.

7. Learn about feathers. If you can, find a feather to examine. Feel how light it is. Fun your fingers along the side and feel the texture. Have some fun with the feathers and paint with them like this example from Mommy and Me Book Club. You can also try your hand at creating feathers, like we did with these peacock feathers or our feather stencils


8. Learn to identify birds. What characteristics do you need to observe in order to determine the type of bird. Find a good bird book and learn about all the different types of birds that live around you. Inner Child Fun created this simple backyard field guide for an inexpensive, child-friendly option.

9. Get active! Learn about birds through active play. Flap your arms like a bird. Can you feel the breeze it makes? Pretend to glide through the air or land on a branch. Help your kids learn about birds and burn off some energy at the same time.

10. Do a bird craft. Do a quick search for birds on Pinterest and you're sure to find many ideas. We made these cute collage owls. Toddler Approved made cute chicks using tape. Dilly-Dali Art made fun light bulb birds. Creativity My Passion made colorful birds from recycled tissue boxes. And this is just the tip of the iceberg or fun bird crafts! (Again, you can check my Birds Pinterest Board for more fun bird crafts.)


*Bonus Activity: You're never to young to learn about birds! The Educators' Spin On It shares some wonderful ways to introduce babies to the natural world and the wonders of birds.

What is your favorite way to learn about birds?

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8 comments:

  1. Great list! My husband is an avid birder and is always teaching our son about birds. They look at real field guides together (the pictures are beautiful). I love Inner Child Fun's idea to make your own. We also teach my son the names of birds and let him look through binoculars to see them.

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  2. We did a cool craft on secondary cavity nesting birds (Bluebird,House Sparrow, House Wren, Tree Swallow, Carolina Chickadee) where we made the nests in foam cups to act as the cavity. http://www.nirvanahomeschooling.blogspot.com/2012/03/building-secondary-cavity-nester-bird.html

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  3. Isn't it wonderful how kids are drawn to studying about topics like birds and bugs... you know the stuff that is all around them. great compilation of ideas! thanks. I found you through your kids co-op link, you can find me over at www.penpalsandpicturebooks.com

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  4. How fun! I love the cheerio bird feeder and the cute egg shaped birds. Thanks for linking up to the Kids Co-op!

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  5. This is a great list!! Thanks for all the ideas!
    ~Andrea
    www.nodoubtlearning.blogspot.com

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  6. My boys & I have grown to love birds. Once we went on a bird scavenger hunt searching for different types of birds, feathers, nests, etc.

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  7. I love this post - we've grown up bird watching and I spent many days during my degrees watching bird behaviour and learning about them it's great to see children leading the learning with topics like this. Thank you for linking up to Kid's Co-op and just to let you know that I'm featuring the post as part of tomorrow's post.

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  8. Love this!! We definitely need to do the bird feeder because we have so many beautiful birds here!!

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