Showing Love to Our Feathered Friends

When I was teaching kindergarten in the Ferguson-Florissant School District in the state of Missouri, one of my favorite activities was taking my class to Little Creek Nature Area, a nature preserve owned and operated by the school district. Kindergarten students had the opportunity to visit Little Creek multiple times a year and my favorite visit was the winter one where we learned about winter birds. The Little Creek teachers taught us that some birds stay in Missouri throughout the year. We were shown beautiful photographs of these birds so we could identify them when we went bird watching. Each child made a pair of binoculars, two bird feeders (one to put in a tree at Little Creek and another to take home). The children armed with their binoculars and new bird watching knowledge were in awe when they went bird watching by peering out the huge observation window. With quiet anticipation we watched red feathered Cardinals, brown Wrens and little Black Capped Chickadees fly from tree to tree and feast on the seed filled pine cone feeders we had prepared. The visit ended with a story in front of the fireplace. We sipped hot cocoa topped with marshmallows and munched on homemade Cardinal Cookies while the teacher read winter stories.

I recently attempted to replicate some of the activities my students enjoyed so my three-year old daughter could experience some of the Little Creek winter magic. The following is a description of the activities.

Pine Cone Bird Feeders– Lillian enjoyed this popular winter activity that I remember from my childhood. We collected pine cones in the park, covered them lightly with peanut butter and then rolled them in bird seed. We attached a red piece of yarn to the top and they were ready to hang on the little tree outside our window.

BinocularsMade out of two toilet paper rolls, yarn and decorated with stickers, Lillian loves her bird watching binoculars! I stapled the toilet paper rolls together and attached yarn to one side so she could wear them around her neck. We decorated our binoculars with stickers but we could have used crayons.

Cardinal Cookies- img_4762Nana joined in the fun by helping us make Cardinal Cookies! Named for the beautiful red bird who loves sunflower seeds, this easy drop cookie has a peanut butter base and is rolled in sunflower seeds prior to baking. My little one loved making the cookies but enjoyed eating them even more!img_4764-1

 

My Book of Birds Inspired by my trips to Little Creek my dad and I created this mini book years ago for my kindergarten students. It focuses on counting along with bird identification and contains beautiful illustrations drawn by my dad! We want to share our book with you! Download the reproducible book for free by clicking on this link. My Book of Birds

Read Aloud Books Featuring Birds– One of my favorite winter picture books is Lois Ehlert’s “Snowballs.” This book introduces the reader to a snow family complete with a snow dog and cat! Ms. Ehlert creates beautiful snow figure collages filled with items birds and squirrels would find yummy to eat during the cold winter weather.

The number of feathered friends to visit our bird feeder was limited but we enjoyed the few wrens that ventured to our little tree. We look forward to repeating this activity next year and hope the wrens come back and bring their friends to our home for a winter feast!

23 thoughts on “Showing Love to Our Feathered Friends

  1. What a fine nature lesson……a good activity to fill a cold wintery day!
    Photos of Lillian enjoying the project make this posting quite special. Kudos to Dad, the artist of the book on birds.

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  2. Thanks for sharing the great ideas! I will print a copy of the bird book for the grandkids.
    Lillian is so fortunate to have such a talented mommy and grandparents. She is in for tons of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a sweet idea. I have never thought about doing any of this but I’m sure my 5 year old will love to try these activities. I am going to save this to my “Kids Stuff” Pinterest board to re-visit and try.

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  4. It’s so fun to help our children dig deeper through activities and literature. My son likes the book Snowballs. I love the unique style of the illustrations 🙂

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  5. I Love this post, bonding with kids is essential to show you love them. I also give some activities to my kids to enhance their interpersonal skills..

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  6. This is a beautiful experience, we have made bird feeders from cheerios with my childminding children to help develop fine motor skills threading onto pipe cleaners… we have since discovered they aren’t healthy for the birds so have swapped to sticking with pine cones, fat and seeds . I haven’t read ‘Snowballs’ we should give it a go.

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  7. I love everything about this. Spending time with your daughter baking and crafting, and sharing education and love for our feathered friends.

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  8. Wow…how fun! My great grandmother use to tell me stories about Gods birds watching over us. Your post reminded me other her! I love the homemade binoculars and bord feeders, I will definitely be doing this with my boys!

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