We did an in-depth study of birds which lasted for a couple of weeks because Audrey and Ethan were just so interested. The first thing we did was put up some bird feeders. In one feeder we put Black Oil Sunflower Seed. In another feeder we put a special mix of seeds. In another, we put Nyjer Thistle Seed to attract Goldfinches. In the last feeder we put grape jelly to attract Orioles. We have been fortunate enough to see so many wonderful birds. We have House Sparrows, House Finches, Goldfinches, Orioles, Starlings, and Mourning Doves. We talk about the birds almost every day at breakfast and lunch as we watch all of our backyard visitors. Audrey and Ethan have learned so much just from these kitchen table conversations. Audrey is always the first to tell us who is at our feeders. She can tell if it is a "mommy" or "daddy" bird too. We have had one Cardinal so far. The kids get so excited to see new birds. The day the Cardinal came was like Christmas!
One of our first bird projects was to put together nesting materials to leave out for the birds in hopes that they would use it to build their nests. Ethan especially enjoyed using the scissors to cut the ribbon and yarn to the proper size.
After reading the book, Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, Audrey made a nest of her own by laying yarn dipped in glue in a nest shape around the end of a balloon. When the glue dried, the yarn kept the shape of a little nest. I do not have a finished nest picture, but here was the process. It was sticky and gloppy!
We used the book Birds by Kevin Henkes to inspire a bird art project. Audrey used oil pastels, tempera paint, and cut construction paper to make this adorable tree with birds.
Another favorite art experience was with oil pastels and watercolors. Audrey make a bluebird. Isn't he sweet?! Audrey also made a bird out of clay.
On baking day during our bird theme, we made bird's nest cookies. Audrey enjoyed using her thumb to make the little indentations for the nests of green colored coconut and egg shaped M&Ms.
Audrey observed and recorded the birds that visited our backyard. Her goal was to draw a picture of every kind of bird we saw...she did!
I love to tell simple nature stories to go with our themes. For our first week of birds, each morning I told the story of a mother robin building her nest in the springtime, laying her eggs, and the eggs hatching. I try to do a chalkboard drawing to go with the story. I keep it covered under a play silk until it is time to tell the story. Audrey and Ethan love when I unveil the drawing for the first time. They say, "da-da daaa dada da da-daa". When I can, I use table puppets that I have needle felted to help tell the story too.
For our second week of birds, I told a story of a mother and father Oriole that travel from their current home among the orange trees in the south lands to their home in an apple orchard of the north lands. This story was called "The Orioles' Journey" and I got it from Tell Me a Story. Timing could not have been better, because after the second day of telling this story and leaving out the grape jelly in the Oriole feeder, we got our first Orioles visiting our backyard!!!
Hi! I am Allison. I am a happy homemaker, wife, and mother to four sweet babies. I am also a Classical, Christian homeschooling mom trying to make every day a celebration of love and family. I love to bake, cook, garden, read, do art, and spend time outdoors with my amazing family.
Our story of loving and learning at home...
"Let them be little, 'cause they're only that way for a while. Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day. Let them cry, let them giggle; let them sleep in the middle, oh, let them be little."
- Written and Sung by Billy Dean