This month our Mother Goose Time Preschool curriculum is focused on reviewing the ABCs. We are reviewing letters by learning about zoo animals that start with that letter. Today’s letter is “B” and we are learning all about birds. Since we are bird lovers and Mom is an avian veterinarian – (miss that part? check out my about page), this topic is right up our alley and we had a blast with these activities.
Every morning we discuss the calendar and weather. The simple calendar provided by Mother Goose Time has quickly become one of my favorite parts of the day. With almost no effort on my part, the kids have begun to recognize their numbers and learn the order of the days of the week. They take turns taping the correct day into the correct spot each morning. Well almost, every morning, cause real life 🙂
We color our coloring pages.
Learn the Spanish word of the day. (bird = el pájaro)
Discuss our daily topic poster question.
What do you know about a bird?
Ladybug (3 years old): They bite! (Yup, she’s my daughter. I’m forever telling them to keep their hands out of cages and enclosures because birds can bite).
Owl (2 years old): They fly.
Zoo Keeper Meeting: B is for Bird
We pretended that our backyard was our zoo and watched the song birds at the feeders. We also spotted our resident red tailed hawk making circles in the sky.
Did you start signing the musical Oklahoma when you read that line? If so, we might be related 😉 or at least long lost friends!
The CD that came with this month has a song for every letter. “B is for Bird” encourages the kids to flap around and fly like their favorite bird. Ladybug decided she wanted to be a loon (yes, we read A LOT) and thus, she spent her time pretending to be diving, swimming, fishing, and carrying her babies on her back. Did you know real loons really do that? It’s awesome to see and super sweet 🙂
With paper bird templates and craft sticks provided by Mother Goose Time, we created our own little bird puppets.
Where have you seen a bird sitting?
Ladybug: They sit on ALL the stuff outside.
We played with the feathers. We tossed them in the air and tried to catch them. We turned the music back on and pretended the feathers were ours.
Using dot-dot markers, we decorated our bird puppets. We then used them to recite the poem “Two Little Birdies.”
Two little birdies sitting on a knee, (Hold birds on knees.)
One named John and one named Brie. (Wiggle one bird than the other.)
Fly away John; fly away Brie, (Fly one at a time from knee to behind back.)
Come back, John; come back, Brie. (Fly one back out, then the other.)
Each time we repeated the rhyme, we used a different name that rhymes with a different body part. Here are a few of the examples provided by Mother Goose Time:
Using bird cut outs of different colors and a variety of items from around the house, we did a color sorting activity.
What different colors of birds have you seen?
Ladybug: red (Cardinal), white (Swan), grey (Mourning Dove), black (Crow), blue (Blue Jay)….. (I think she named the entire rainbow+++)
Owl: All the colors.
The kids headed outside and started looking for birds and items of different colors where birds might nest with their play binoculars.
My kids divided the different colored bird cut outs between them and then I had them fly the birds to different items that were the same color. To make it more fun, we used some masking tape to attach the birds to the similarly colored objects, because in toddler and preschool world everything is better with tape.
They ran off a ton of energy and I was pleasantly surprised to find that both kids easily found items for all the colors. They enjoyed this simple color matching game so much, we played a couple of times.
We also did this activity indoors in two additional ways. We are having tons of afternoon storms this week!
Simplify: I had my two year old get out his crayon set. We pretended the crayons were worms and he let his different colored birds go get the same color worms.
Challenge: I had my three year old follow 2, 3, and 4 step directions to fly to different colored objects in the room. For example, she would spread her wings, flap her wings twice twirl, and then pretend to sit down on her nest when we reached an item the same color as the bird.
Using numbered cards (1-20) provided by Mother Goose Time, we pretended to feed some hungry little baby birds hiding out in some miniature bags that we pretended were nests.
What do birds eat?
Ladybug: worms, bugs, berries, flower nectar, other birds (we talk about birds a lot LOL)
The children collected a bevy of items that little birds might wish to eat including berries, worms, bugs, and seeds.
If you are stuck inside you can have them make the items out of play dough.
Momma Notes: I had a bit of trouble getting the kids to slow down enough when they were both filling the bags at the same time, so I sent them on a mission to find food items for each nest instead of just filling the bags. I used the puppet birds they made earlier in the day to mark the nest each child was actively feeding. I gave my two year old bags that went up to the number five and challenged my three year old with the bags that went up to ten. With this slight modification, the game was a hit!
What sounds do birds make?
Ladybug: screeching and parrots talk
Owl: honestly, I can’t type the sounds he made……lol
Why do you think they make noises?
Both kids said it was because they were talking to their babies : )
The kids and I looked through books and tried to make different bird noises (owl, duck, robin, chickadee, crow).
Given our love of birds, this house has no shortage of pictures of our feathered friends. We found pictures of songbirds, birds of prey, and waterfowl. My kids and I had a great time making “bird sounds.”
Check out: http://www.enature.com/birding/audio.asp
There are a ton of bird calls and the kids and I really enjoyed mimicking them.
We came up with all kinds of possibilities for what the birds might be saying and characterized the calls as long, short, soft, loud, etc. The kids picked their favorites.
The Barn Owl remains the scariest of all bird sounds 🙂 Play that one to young children with caution!
A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead is an adorable story about a bird from a cuckoo clock who falls out of the back of a pick up truck and goes missing. Aided by an unlikely friend, the cuckoo bird journeys home. My three year old thought this book was hilarious and enjoyed sharing it with our newest home schooler – little six month, Guppy. Guppy thinks attention from his big sister is awesome – doesn’t matter what she’s reading or doing 🙂
Would you want to have a pet bird? Why or why not?
It just so happens that we have two pet birds – an African Gray Parrot named Ayla and a Black-Capped Conure named Petey. We don’t recommend having birds as pets since they are really better suited to life in the wild, but we sure do love the ones that we care for in our home. The birds have been staying with Grandma this week, while we do a Spring cleaning of their permanent big cages outside.
The children made a nest out of blankets and pillows. We scattered pretend berries, worms, and other bird food items around the room. We then played a version of the popular game “Freeze.” I controlled the music and while the kids danced and flapped around the room gathering food items like birds, I frequently stopped the song. Each time the song stopped they had to get to their nest as fast as possible with the items they had collected.
We had a great day pretending to be birds and learning all about the letter “B.”
What are you learning about in your home school today?
As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.