We studied birds (and flight) a couple of weeks ago but I’m only getting around to writing about it now. We focused on two very sweet picture books and a Magic School Bus episode. My girls love bird-watching with their father, especially Kooks who has a real knack for spotting birds and remembering their names. I really appreciated that, apart from being a topic my girls were happy to jump into, it was a nice, easy week where everything we needed for our pre k learning activities was on hand. This post contains affiliate links.
Birds by Kevin Henkes is a colorful story of a child recounting the observations she has made when watching birds. “Sometimes, in winter, a bird in a tree looks like one red leaf left over.” She also tells the reader what she imagines about birds, what she would like to ask birds and how she pretends to be a bird. I love how this story got us thinking about, and observing, birds in different ways.
How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham is a story with lovely illustrations and very few words about a boy, Will, who finds a pigeon that broke its wing in a crowded city where everyone else is too busy to notice. Will and his family care for the bird and find out that, “with rest… and time… and a little hope… a bird may fly again.” It is a beautiful story of empathy that is easy for children to relate to.
We watched The Magic School Bus “Taking Flight” episode which has the students riding in a remote controlled plane and we did the correlating experiment at Scholastic which involved making paper gliders and comparing how they fall to how a flat sheet of paper and a piece of paper crumpled into a ball fall. We didn’t manage to get out of our pajamas before conducting this particular experiment!!
Since How to Heal a Broken Wing has lots of beautiful illustrations and very few words the girls each had a chance to “read” the book to Dada. The task was not to just recite the lines they could remember but to look at the pictures and tell a longer story. Both my girls love showing off how much they know to Dada and are much more serious students when he is invited to school!
Arts and Crafts:
We had a lot of fun with our watercolors and a painting activity from Teach Preschool. I colored the sides of one of our blocks with markers and the girls rolled the block and chose the color they rolled to make their own version of the page in Birds that reads, “If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think what the sky would look like.”
We attempted Royal Baloo’s craft of an arm tree with colorful fingerprint birds – you’ll have to click over to see what the results were supposed to look like. Kooks (painting on the left) got so into painting her tree that she decided her work of art was complete before any birds were added. Boo (painting on the right) went with a rainbow tree and a blue sky. We had fun painting our trees even if they don’t include birds, maybe the birds will decide to land later?
My girls are quick to tell anyone who asks that Mama is their teacher but that Dada does “Bird School.” They love getting out their binoculars and their bird book and identifying anything that flies or lands nearby.
YouTube Songs of the Week:
Coffee Cups and Crayons has some fun activities to pair with Birds and a link up of activities for Kevin Henkes books. I particularly like the feather painting!
Do you and your children bird watch together?