Nature Study: The Return of the Birds

Even if I was able to sleep in– a virtually impossible task when you have six children!– I am finding myself waking up every morning to the sound of birds. Coincidentally, the twins created a bird feeder in their Sunday School class, leading to an interest in the birdies in our neighborhood. They’ve been gathering up rocks, twigs, and grasses to create “nests.” It’s sweet, but I could do without it immediately outside the front door!

At the same time, I’ve been leading some music classes at a local preschool. I miss teaching little ones, and it’s just enough to make me miss it. But our topic these last few weeks? Birds!

So when I came across this poem in an old-school education guide, I knew what my next post was going to be about…

Return of the BirdsOne of the exercises I do with my preschoolers (and practice with my Twinkies) is listening to different bird sounds. I usually use Spotify. It’s amazing how many sound effects you can find there! But I also found these on YouTube.

Here is a robin.

And a bluebird.

We like to first listen to the bird calls and then attempt to imitate them.

We’ve sung “Bluebird, Bluebird, Through My Window” and danced to “Rockin’ Robin.” Videos are linked to help grown ups learn the songs and not so much for the children. And of course, there are some favorite movement rhymes that both my kindergarteners and preschoolers seem to enjoy!

Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail.
Niddle noddle went his head and
Wibble wobble went his tail.

AND

Once a saw a little bird go hop, hop, hop.
I cried, “Little bird, will you stop, stop, stop!”
I went to the window to say “How do you do?”
But he shook his little tail and away he flew!

This rhyme is also good for teaching the sign for “stop.”
stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have written before about setting up provocations for my children, even though I no longer educate them full time at home.

I have a few bird provocations planned, and I’ll try to check back in and let you know how¬† they turn out. I set up our spring nature table, complete with a bird nest, but the poor mama bird’s eggs are already missing!Some ideas I have include:

  • Setting out clay or playdough for them to create nests, and then sending them outside to add natural materials such as grass and twigs to the nest. A follow up would be decorating wooden eggs to add to the nests. Of course, in a pinch, we always have leftover plastic eggs from Easter!
  • We recently procured the wonderful book Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers that features a section on squirrel-proof bird feeders.
  • Inside, I might set up some gems, rocks, twigs, and wooden birds on our story table and see what they do.
  • And of course, I could continue to see what they do on their own with natural materials found in our own yard.

Happy spring!