Tag Archives: birds

Nature Craft: Bird At Home

Here’s a fun craft to go along with a nature lesson. You can even work at it with your very small ones to help them learn their shapes.

Supplies:

  • Brown paper lunch bags
  • Newspaper
  • Rubber bands
  • Construction paper- yellow and brown
  • Googly eyes
  • Shoe box

1. To begin, cut three small triangles from the yellow construction paper, two large triangles from the brown construction paper. While you can cut out these shapes for young children, older children can cut them out by themselves.

2. Give your child a paper bag and some newspaper. Have your child tear the newspaper into strips and place some in the bottom of the paper bag. Twist the bag near the bottom to form the head of the bird. Wrap a rubber band around it to keep it in place.

3. Have your child tear another sheet of newspaper into long strips. Stuff these strips into the paper bag as well, filling it halfway.

4. Twist the bag again, wrapping another rubber band around it to keep it in place. Spread out the un-stuffed top of the bag to form the tail.

5. Find the three small yellow triangles. Glue one small triangle on the head with one angle pointing downward, creating a beak. Glue the two remaining yellow triangles to the bottom of the bird, forming feet. Affix each foot so that the straight side of the triangle can be seen when facing the front of the bird.

**TIP: While glue sticks are less messy and will work well when gluing paper to paper, white school glue works better when affixing the googley eyes to the bird. Be sure to allow for sufficient drying time when using white glue.

8. Glue the two brown triangles to the sides of the birds for wings.

9. Glue googly eyes to the head of the bird.

10. Have your child tear another sheet of newspaper into strips. Place the strips into a shoebox, forming a nest. Place the bird in the nest. You can also use this time to talk about all the things birds might use to build their nests.

For books to go along with your craft, you might try About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill ; Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Mel Boring; and Bird Songs by Betsy Franco.

The Boy, the Book, and the Birds – Part 3

barn swallowUp above us, in the three metal beams that held up the roof of the gas station, was nest after nest filled with baby birds! Every couple of feet along the beams, barn swallows had built their nests and were now busy feeding their young. And each time an adult would fly to the nest, the babies would open their mouths and eat, and the bird would take off again. There were so many of them in one place – we counted at least 20 – and because their location at the gas station meant people were always coming and going, they didn’t seem to mind us one bit. 

We all were out of the car now, just standing by the gas pump and watching the birds. Not only did I wish I had my purse that day, but now I really wished I had a camera. Who knew we would witness such an amazing bit of nature, especially when all we had set out to do was drop off a boy scout book? 

We watched the birds a little longer, then loaded back up in the car and started towards the interstate. I didn’t recognize where we were yet, but I took my best guess as to which direction we needed to go. Fortunately, I chose the right way, and we were finally headed home. Unfortunately, we still had thirty minutes to go. 

As we drove along, we talked about everything that had happened on our adventure. We thought Dad must be home by now and was probably wondering where we were. After all, by the time we pulled back into the driveway, our twenty-minute round trip had taken us nearly two hours! 

But Dad wasn’t even home yet!  The kids thought that was great – we had been on this big adventure, and if they didn’t tell him about it, he would never even know! (They did wait a while to tell him the story.)

Though it had been a long trip, we decided that seeing the birds had made it all worthwhile. Even five-year-old Luke, who doesn’t like long car trips, didn’t seem to mind this one. And we decided we should go back sometime to show the birds to Dad and John… we’d just take a shorter route.

Photo by Jerry Ting