When my ideas run low, I turn to my three year old for some creative projects. At least I know he will be slightly interested in it if he was the idea producer. Sometimes he lacks ideas to and we are left turning the first thing we see into a momma day activity. We were sitting outside, unsuccessfully brainstorming, when a cardinal flew by giving us our idea. Birds.
Where do they live, what do they eat, how do they communicate with each other? By now, it should not surprise me how little I know about the topics we learn about together, but it does. How much do you know about birds? I tried to teach my three year old something and we discovered a whole new world of feathery friends.
Where do they live?
Focusing on cardinals, we learned they build their nests in trees and bushes. Nests were made of sticks, twigs, grass, and other natural items found in our own back yard. Then, we took it to another level! We became birds and gathered our own materials to build our own nest.
Strips of cloth and construction paper were added to our baby pool to make a cushiony bottom perfect for our bird butts. Then I blew up a few balloons (eggs) that little man tried sitting on. We quickly reached the conclusion that our ‘eggs’ wouldn’t be hatching and headed inside to continue our research.
In real bird life, eggs hatch. We used paper plates, shredded paper, glue, blue felt, brown paint and craft eyes and transformed these materials into beautiful nests with baby blue jays.
- Cut the paper plate in half. Cut one, large oval out of the felt then cut the oval in half and set aside.
- Paint the plate brown, add a gob or two of glue, and arrange the shredded paper.
- Glue one eye onto the felt and then glue the ‘bird’ into the ‘nest.’
- What do they eat?
All this bird talk made us hungry. So we took a lunch break. No nuts, seed, or insects, but we did have some gummy worms for dessert. We also recycled a plastic container by cutting out the side and filling it with black sunflower seeds. We learned in the book about cardinals that they prefer black sunflower seeds, so we are hoping they notice our bird feeder and come visit us often.
How do they communicate?
We read book after book after book! Books about songbirds, owls, penguins, ducks, and of course cardinals. We learned about the sounds they make and when they make them. Song birds were our favorite. Blue jays make a jay, jay, jay sound. A chirr, chirr, prit, prit, prit means you have a cardinal friend near by.
We looked for birds. We listened for birds. We even looked for feathers. It was a busy day and I feared it all may have been a little too much for a three year old to comprehend. Then Daddy got home and he got an earful. Graham told non-stop stories about birds all evening and three days later, he was still talking about birds.
My favorite parts of the day was hearing him compare mommy and daddy birds to his mommy and daddy. He compared other animals to birds by asking if they lay eggs, have beaks and wings, and feathers. What really impressed me was how he absorbed where different species of birds live. I don’t know if I’ll get use to my three year old walking around the house talking about the northern hemisphere.
It was a great success. It was a great momma day and it was a great reminder of what a sponge young minds are. I hope you plan a day for the birds and that your kiddo’s minds take flight.