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Bird ThemeFOR  THE  BIRDS! 
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There are 3 black & white printable coloring and pattern pages of Birds associated with this theme. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

Bulletin Board: "Flying Lessons"
Children use fine motor and language skills as the help create this bulletin board by Crystal B.

Materials: Paint, a pattern of a bird, paint brushes, colored pattern of a bird house,
a marker, and a empty bulletin board.

Description: Give each child a bird pattern, paint and paint brush. Let children 
paint the bird pattern while talking about birds. Talk about what they eat, where they live, etc. When the painted birds are dry, staple the bird house on one side of  the bulletin board with a sign hanging from it that says Flying Lessons.
Now, write the children's names on the their birds with a marker and staple the birds so they look like they are flying to the bird house. You could even add a sun or
some clouds to your bulletin board.

Birds on Trees
Enhance rhyming skills with this fingerplay from Rachel W.

High, high, high, up in the sky (Hold both arms up)
The little birds fly.  (Make fingers fly)
Down, down, down, in the nest  (Bring arms down)
The little birds rest.  (Fingers rest on lap)
With a wing on the left,  (Hold up left hand)
With a wing on the right,  (Hold up right hand)
They sleep and sleep    (Fold hands beside cheek)
All through the night.

Up comes the sun.  (Bring arms up in a circle)
Dew falls away.  (Wave fingers down as rain)
"Good morning, good morning"  (Nod head up and down)
The little birds say.   (Flap arms as wings)

Bird's the Word
Heather provides preschool, kindergarten and older children with the opportunity to connect with nature during this hands-on activity.

Materials: Several books about birds, I recommend "Crinkleroot's Guide to 
 Knowing the Birds"
 Index cards with bird names and / or pictures
 Clean, dry juice or milk carton
 Bird seed
 Stick (I bought dowels)
 Scissors, yarn and decorating supplies (I use paint).

Description: I first introduce the birds with several picture books & read out loud. 
After that, depending on the age group and how many children are in the group, I 
attempt a matching game with the index cards.  The kids can pair up with whomever has the other card and share information with each other about their 

With a smaller group, I give each child a bird card & picture for them to look at.
I then ask the group what is different about each bird: color, size, beak, etc.
This introduces bird identification.  After that we begin making a bird house with the milk or juice carton.  They really enjoy making this and knowing that they can watch birds that come to their birdhouse.

birdhouseFor the birdhouse:
First poke a hole on each side of the carton with a pen and begin cutting a window 
on each side, younger children may need more guidance.  Then have them decorate 
it as they please.  I used water based, non-toxic paint, but you can also have 
sticker or pictures for them to glue on.

After that poke holes in the top, one hole on each opposite side to put yarn through in order to hang it from a tree.  And finally, put two more holes at the bottom to give the birds a place to perch.

I give each child a small bag of their own birdseed.  I also include flyers with information on bird watching and how to take care of their birdhouse.  This is something that parents can share with them at home before, during or after their birdhouse is up.

We had a wonderful time doing this activity.  It would be great if you could make a day of this and go into detail about bird identifying and what makes a bird a bird.

Bird Feeders
Leanne encourages an appreciation of nature and community participation with this birding activity.

Materials: Milk carton, scissors, bird seed and decorations.

Description: Get each child to bring in a milk carton in advance. Cut a hole big 
enough for a small bird to fit into and fill with bird seed. Then get children to decorate. Hang around your yard and you'll get all sorts of birds entering your 
yard.  Make sure you keep a bird classification book handy. The children really 
enjoy watching all the birds enter the yard and begin to understand the different types of birds. 

Comments: You can refill the feeders with scraps of bread from the children's 
snacks or crusts, which many children dislike. 

Invite a Bird to Dinner!
Tammie T. helps children create this bird feeder to take home!

Materials: One empty quart milk carton, a string to hang the feeder up with, a nail, suet and birdseed.

Description: Ask each child to bring an empty CLEANED OUT quart milk container. Help each child cut a "window" in one side of the carton. Have each child glue or tape the top of the milk carton shut. Next, help them use a nail to make a hole in 
the top of the carton, then thread the string through the hole to make a hoop for hanging. Finally help the children roll pieces of suet in birdseed to place in their feeders!

Comments: It is really fun to make and then hang them outside while children are 
waiting for their parents. We watch and count how many birds come to eat!

Cooking: Bird's Nest
Veronica offers this bird's nest that youngsters can eat!

Materials: Cocoa rice krispie treats, marshmallows, marshmallow birds (peeps) and
edible robin eggs.

Description: First mix in the rice krispie treats as you would if you were 
making the snack. Then, instead of putting the rice krispies onto a cake pan, 
have the children either mold it into a little circle with a hole in the center or
you may put it in a small container, pushing it to the bottom and then turn it over. 
Next, have the children put a hole in it. In the hole put some eggs and on the top of the eggs put the birds.

Comments: Not only does this activity work really well and all the kids enjoy it, 
you may also eat it!

Grapefruit Cup Feeders
Here's a very easy bird feeder from Wanda L.

Materials: Birdseed and grapefruit.

Description: Place bird seeds in a grapefruit half and if possible, place the feeder in an observable location for the children. 

Pinecone Bird Feeders 
Here's an easy bird feeder from Angie.

Materials: Pinecones, string, peanut butter, plastic knives for spreading, and bird seed are needed for this project.

Description:  Make your own bird feeder with peanut butter, a pine cone, and birdseed. Teachers tie a string around the top of the pine cone under the ridges, so the string stays in place, and knot it, leaving enough string for hanging. While children sit at a table they use Plastic knives to thoroughly cover their pine cones with peanut butter, then roll it in the bird seed.  Finally, hang the feeders outside near a window and your children can watch the birds eat.

art & craft activity Toddler Birds
Carri R. offers this simple bird theme activity for toddlers. Play a record, tape or
CD of birds chirping while toddlers dip their thumbs.

Materials: Paint and paper.

Description: Have children dip their thumbs into the paint and then press their thumbs down onto paper. Afterward, to look like a bird, draw a beak on the thumbprint.

songs   Springtime Songs
These two songs by Trish H. teach about the Spring season and birds.

 Sing a Song Of Springtime
 (Tune: Sing a Song of Sixpence")

 Sing a song of springtime,
 Sunshine fills the sky.
 See the little bluebirds,
 As they fly on by.
 Look at all the flowers
 Blooming pink and blue.
 What a pretty time to sit
 And watch things start anew

 Here Comes Spring
 (Tune: Three Blind Mice)

 Here comes spring, here comes spring.
 Bells will ring, children sing.
 New plants are shooting from the ground,
 Blossoms on the trees abound,
 The earth awakens all around,
 Here comes Spring

art & craft activity Hand Print Dove
Youngsters use fine motor and creative skills during this art & craft activity by Teresa S.

Materials: White construction paper (folded in half), scissors, glue, pencil, felt tip marker and children's hands.

Description: On the construction paper trace a child's hand on the fold with the child's thumb out and fingers together. Cut out. Glue together at thumbs and palms ONLY. Fold fingers back to create wings then draw eyes and a beak on the thumb.
Now you have a Dove!

art & craft activity  Creating Nests
Elisa H. offers this bird theme activity saying, "While studying birds, children learn to appreciate what goes in to making a nest and learn that animals need homes."

Materials: Paper bag with child name, glue, construction paper and scissors.

Description: First read a story about birds or bird's nests. Show samples or pictures of various nests if available. Talk about what they are made out of. Then it is time to be a bird and look for some things to make our nests.

Distribute paper bags and go on an outdoor walk, picking up twigs, dead leaves etc. "Fly" instead of walk and when the bags are full, fly back to the classroom. Let the kids try to build the nests first without glue with only the materials in their bags. When they can't make the stuff stick together explain that birds sometimes use mud as glue. Pass out brown construction paper and let them glue their nests to the 
paper. (The nests can then be taped to a large classroom paper tree if desired).

Later, you can add eggs or baby birds to the nests. A good follow up is making pine cone bird feeders. Stale bread can be substituted for pine cones. Tie them outside with yarn. Don't forget to clean them up when the seeds are gone.

art & craft activity   Birds Nests
Teach youngsters how birds use materials to build their nests with this activity from Tresa.

Materials: Brown paper lunch bag, glue brushes, playdough eggs (recipe below).

Description: Talk about the things birds use to build their nests and give each child a paper lunch bag when they take a nature walk.  Have the children fill their bags with the things they think a bird might use to build a nest.

When you come back to the classroom, empty the contents of their bags on the table.  Help each child roll down the sides of their bag to the bottom and shape it into a nest. Ask children to brush glue into the bag and glue various items they have collected in it. Let dry before placing two playdough eggs in each nest.
The nests are really cute and life-like.

Playdough Eggs:
 1 cup flour
 1/3 cup salt
 1/2 cup water
Directions: Mix flour and salt.  slowly add water until a workable consistency. 
Bake at 350° for one-two hours or until dry. Allow children to paint their eggs
when cool and dry.

art & craft activity  Nesting
Amanda W. promotes the fine motor skills of tearing and pasting while youngsters learn about nests and eggs.

Materials: Precut paper nest shapes, brown paper, jute or string, precut paper 
eggs, glue, pictures of nests or a Real Nest.

Description: Give each child a large piece of paper cut in the general shape of a 
nest. Let the children tear brown paper into shapes and strips and paste these 
onto the nest shape. Give the children plenty of jute or string cut in short 
strips and encourage them to paste these right over their paper strips. Talk to 
the children about how birds build their nest and what they might use. Show the 
children pictures of a nest or a real one (you might take the children on a nature walk to observe birds and their nests). Then ask the children to paste the precut eggs on top of the nest,
  bird & worm

Counting Game: "Bugs for Birds"
During this game by Cheryl D. children use fine motor and counting skills.

Materials:  About 10 party paper cups (solid color yellow works well), orange 
construction paper, plastic bugs, black marker, tweezers for each kid in the area.

Description: Teachers in advance, cut 2 triangles and glue them to the lip of the cup facing upwards to resemble baby birds looking upwards.  With a marker, put on eyes and other bird-like features.  Also, write a numeral on each cup so that the kids can see it.

The kids pick up the bugs with the tweezers and put them into the cups.  They 
have to count the # of bugs they put in to match the numeral on the bird's body. 
They ultimately feed the birds the amount of bugs that the bird is allowed to 

"Cooking": Bird Nest Building
During your Bird Theme youngsters can create this sweet treat "bird's nest"  by Jennifer W.

Materials: 1 plain donut, 2 cans of chocolate frosting, chow mein noodles, candy eggs or jelly beans.

Description: Each child makes a nest using these materials. Have the real materials to show as well. The children loved it.

birdseed collage  Birdseed Collage
This sensory and tactile art activity is from Wanda L.

Materials: Birdseed, paper and white glue.

Description: Children apply glue to paper and then sprinkle birdseed over the glue. For a variation, use additional types of seeds such as corn and sunflower seeds.
Ii sometimes use colored glue and let the kids choose what color paper they want to use.

Kym M., a librarian, helps youngsters learn to identify birds in the neighborhood saying, "Since the birds will not sit still for us to see them well, all the time, we use pictures of the birds in library books to make our own birding expedition."

Materials: Bird books, bird call cassette or CD, paper, pencils and crayons.
Bird feeders - suet, birdseed, pinecones, string.

Description: Bird books showing birds in our area(s), bird call tape or CD, list of 
birds to be found.  Put the pictures from the books around a given area to provide a "hunt" for the birds.  I use elastic bands to keep the books open and help to keep them from falling over. We listen to the bird songs on the cassette (I made one up ahead of time with 10 bird songs each repeated 3 times). We then found the bird from our pictures.  We checked each bird off from our list, then made pinecone bird feeders.

Bird feeders were made by tying a length of string (18") on to the top of each pinecone, covering the pinecones with suet (not peanut butter) then rolling in 
birdseed.  To minimize mess, you can pre portion the birdseed into ziplock bags, 
put the pinecone in the bag, seal it with the string hanging out, then play 
shake shake shake.  These "feeders" will only last two days in the summer and 
will attract birds, raccoons, squirrels and cats/dogs!  Hang them high if you can!

Comments: This was done at the library where I work.  It went over like 

Finger Play: "Two Red Ladybirds"
Angela C. offers her action rhyme for your Bird Theme.

Materials: Two cardboard or felt finger puppet ladybirds, a plastic or paper

 Two red ladybirds
 Flying in the garden
 (Play with finger puppets pretending they're flying around)
 This is Mary
 (Put one puppet up)
 This is Margaret
 (Put the other one up)
 Come and play, Mary!
 Come and play, Margaret!
 (Putting up the flower)
 And the two red ladybirds
 Played with the flower
(Make finger puppet ladybirds fly around the flower)
Comments: I invented this rhyme by making an adaptation from the popular "Two 
Little Dicky Birds". 

bird's nest craft  Clay Bird's Nest
Susie M. stimulates curiosity about nature and promotes small motor skills with this preschool and kindergarten activity.

Materials: Clay, straw, cotton, yarn, feathers, string, tissue, and any other 
soft materials that birds may use to build their nest. 

Description: Give each child a clump of clay. The children can play with the clay, molding it into the shape of a bowl. The children will then choose from a variety of materials to press into the clay creating a birds nest.
Optional: The children can make a bird out of clay to put into their nest.

art & craft activity  Flamingos
Patricia S. introduces children to this bird that you might see at the beach.

1. Clip art program, or picture of flamingo.
2. Heavy pink paper (card stock)
3. Yellow paper
4. Tape or glue
5. Yarn

Description: Print picture on paper, cut out body and neck. Make fan folded 
strips for legs and add yellow feet. Tape or glue to body then hang from ceiling.

Comments: More prep work is needed for the younger ones, these turn out really 

bird art activity Feather Painting
Here's an open ended art activity for your bird theme from Wanda L.

Materials: Feathers, paint and paper.

Description: place feathers, paper and paint on the art table. Let the kids  experiment with different paint and types of paper.

sensory art activity Robin Eggs
An  open ended tactile creative activity from Wanda L.

Materials: Easel paper, light blue paint, sand, and scissors.

Description: Allow the children to cut easel paper into the shape of an egg. 
Provide light blue paint with sand for speckles.

Old Nursery Rhyme

 Two little back birds
 Sitting on a wall,
 (Hold up one finger from each hand that has a string tied to it)
 One named Peter,
 The other named Paul.
 Fly away Peter!
 (Put one hand behind your back)
 Fly away Paul!
 (Put the other hand behind your back)
 Come back Peter! 
 (Switch fingers behind your back so that when you "come back" the strings
   magically disappear)
 Come back Paul!
 (Same action as above)

craft activity "Bird Watching Glasses"
Children create glasses to use outdoors when watching birds during this easy craft activity by Janie J.

Materials: Toilet paper rolls (2 per child), tape or staples and string.

Description: We let the children put designs on their toilet paper rolls.  Then  we stapled them together at each end and attached string so they could wear them 
around their neck.  They were then ready to go bird watching!

Cooking & Counting: "Strawberry Ladybirds"
Lisa C. uses this delicious activity to encourage counting.

Materials: Strawberries, chocolate, bowl, paper baking cases.

1.  Melt the chocolate in a glass or plastic bowl.
2.  Cut each strawberry in half, length ways.
3.   Invite the children, one at a time, to come and put a spoonful of melted chocolate, with the flat side down.
4.   Help the children to put some chocolate at the pointed end of the strawberry for the ladybirds head, then a line down the middle for the wings. 
5.  Next, help the children count while putting the chocolate spots on the wings.
6.  Finally, let them set, then enjoy!

Look  for  a few rhymes about birds in:
Preschool Animal Rhymes
Preschool Fingerplays & Action Rhymes



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