The early fall weeks of the new school year are a good time to teach your elementary students about the birds that live around them. This is the time of the year when the birds that are still around, are looking for shelter and for something to eat. That gives your kids the opportunity to learn about their feathered friends by working on projects such as a bird nest and a bird feeder.
Let’s talk about the nest first. On a day when the weather is not too chilly, take the children outside and go on a nest hunt. Have them look in an area with plenty of trees for a real nest. As you look at it together, (or talk about it if you don’t happen to find one that day) explain to the kids that the birds build their nests one stick, or leaf, or piece of paper at a time. Tell them also that the bird must first hunt for all of the materials needed to build the nest.
When you return to the classroom, tell the students that, based on what they learned, they are to make their own bird’s nest. Tell them to use supplies that they find in the classroom (Make sure there are things in the classroom such as paper, sticks, grass, yarn, etc.). To hold the pieces together, provide something like clay and then watch your kids’ creativity shine!
On another day, continue your study of birds by having your children make an actual bird feeder. Here are some possibilities:
- Make a bottle bird feeder by cutting a big rectangle out of two opposite sides of a large bleach bottle (aired out empty at least 24 hours), or other large empty plastic bottle. Fill the bottom with birdseed and then tie a piece of string around the neck and through the handle. Then hang it outside.
- Make a milk carton feeder by cutting windows out of two opposing sides of a carton. Make sure you leave two inches at its bottom. Place a pencil through holes in the sides to make a bird perch. In the top, punch a hole and tie string through it and make a loop. This is for hanging the feeder. Your kids can paint it for additional fun and flare. After it’s painted, put bird seed on the bottom and then hang it outside.
- Make a Potato Chip Can Feeder by cutting two triangle holes in two sides of a Pringles can. The bottoms of the triangles should be an inch from the can bottom, and should be parallel to one another. Punch a pair of holes near the top and lace string through them. Tie the string into a loop for hanging the can outside. Place birdseed on the bottom of the can and it’s ready for use.
A couple of projects like this will not only teach your kids about birds, but will make your kids love these winged wonders.
And here is our Interactive Learning Card Deck with 4 Fun Games on Birds: