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Learning about Birds: Children’s Activities and Books

Mar 24, 2022    |   Children’s BooksSpring

Young children love to observe all of the critters and creatures that live in their local communities. Birds are a particular source of fascination, with their vibrant colors, interesting homes, unique calls and songs, and the way their wings help them to fly through the sky. In this article, we share a variety of activities and children’s books for learning about birds with young children. The stories and activities can be paired together so that children can explore the themes and ideas introduced in the books more deeply.

Books for Learning about Birds

Ruby’s Birds

This book, written by Mya Thompson and illustrated by Claudia Dávila, follows a young girl named Ruby as she explores the different kinds of birds living in her local neighborhood.  A variety of bird species are featured throughout the book’s pages, inviting children to observe, compare and talk about the unique characteristics of each.

Ruby’s Birds is available as a board book and paperback and would be a fun read for a variety of ages, from toddler to pre-k. Younger children will enjoy the simple story and the illustrations of different birds around the neighborhood, while older children will enjoy interacting with the story and learning about different kinds of birds. 

Bird Watch 

Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson, this colorful book highlights the many different types of birds that we might see when we go outside. The book’s bright illustrations and minimal text offer opportunities for children to practice counting and exploring colors as they learn about different kinds of birds. 

This book is appropriate for a variety of different ages, from infants to preschoolers. Younger children will enjoy looking at the illustrations while older children will be interested in learning about the different kinds of birds that are introduced in the story. 

Bird Builds a Nest: A First Science Storybook 

This children’s book, written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Richard Jones, follows a bird as she builds her nest. As you read the story, children will watch the bird hunt for sticks to build her nest and pull worms from the ground to eat. The text in this book is very simple, and the illustrations are bright and colorful, making this book a great addition to any toddler or preschool classroom.

The book also introduces foundational science terminology about force, as the bird pushes and pulls different items throughout the story.

Activities for Learning about Birds

Building a Bird Nest: Sensory Activity

For this activity, children will get to build their own nest for an imaginary bird using playdough and natural materials, such as sticks, twine, moss, and grass.

If you work with younger children, you can offer bowls to help them shape their nests, while older children might be able to create the shape of the nest on their own. As children make their nests, ask them about the nest materials and how they chose the specific items used in their nests. When children have completed their nests, invite them to compare their nests with their peers and notice differences and similarities between the various designs. Click here to learn more about setting up this activity.

Bird Finder Binoculars

To help children make their own binoculars, you’ll need just a few simple supplies: toilet paper rolls, yarn, tape, small children’s scissors, glue, and a hole punch. 

Encourage children to begin by decorating their binoculars by wrapping yarn around toilet paper rolls. Then, help children to secure the two toilet paper rolls together to create the binoculars. Take these on a nature walk, or even in your outdoor space so that children can use them to see the birds they find.

 Click here to find detailed directions for guiding children through this activity. 

Heart-Shaped Bird Feeders

These heart-shaped bird feeders can be created for the birds that live right in your community. Many bird feeders use peanut butter, but because this bird feeder is nut-free, it makes it a great option for children in your care who have allergies. 

The project requires just a few ingredients: Fruit Loops cereal, twine, and pipe cleaners. Children will get to practice fine motor skills as they string the cereal onto the pipe cleaner.

Click here to find more information about setting up this activity. 

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