Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Birds--Last Post

Although it seems my daughter could continue on with creating birds for the next 25 days or so left of winter, I will be moving on with my blog.  I’d love to know what others are doing to learn about winter or birds, so please share!

American Goldfinch
Good photo and facts:  American Goldfinch and American Goldfinch
Activity: This is one of my favorite art projects—and it’s easy!  I traced the outline of a goldfinch in permanent marker on a sheet of overhead paper (the dull side).  Then my daughter colored it in with washable markers (also on the dull side).  I did help her color since all areas need to be colored.  Then we took a sheet of aluminum foil, crumpled it into a ball, and flattened it back out.  Last, I stapled the foil to the dull side of the overhead paper and cut around them.  Here are formal instructions for the “stained glass” project: Instructions 1 or Instructions 2   And here is the coloring page I traced: Coloring Page

Woodpeckers (downy, red-bellied, hairy)
Good photo and factsDowny Woodpecker
Activity: This is a magazine collage.  I had my daughter search old magazines for things that are red, black, and white to tear out (you can also use old newspapers.  We then tore the images into small pieces and glued them onto a picture of a woodpecker (Coloring Page) to make a paper collage.

Here are other winter birds we have not “studied”: Junco (spend their summers up north), tufted titmouse, house finch, sparrows, mourning doves, crows

And here are various bird coloring pages Click Here and Click Here.

I hope you can enjoy winter birds as much as we have!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Winter Birds III

In addition to creating paper birds for our mural, we have found some good bird books:
Bird Songs by Betsy Franco
Riki’s Birdhouse  by Monica Wellington
Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert
If anyone has another favorite bird book, let me know!

I also downloaded a bird call app on my phone: Bird Caller + (get the 99 cent one vs the free one)

Here are some more of the birds we’ve done.

Blue Jay
Good photo and facts: Blue Jay I and Blue Jay II 

Activity: We first looked at photos of blue jays.  Then I used the template I found at Blue Jay Coloring Page (I enlarged it a little bit) and had the kids glue blue, black, and white feathers onto it.

Canada Goose
Good photo and facts: Canada Goose I  and Canada Goose II
Activity: This was a cute activity and good for following directions.  I added the pieces onto a goose, step by step and had my daughter create hers.  Heart Goose Activity
Coloring page: Click Here

Good photo and facts: Carolina Chickadee
There is also a good illustration in Bird Songs by Betsy Franco.

Activity: Using this Coloring Page, I created a similar image on watercolor paper.  I then showed my kids a picture of a chickadee and had them use black and beige paint to create a similar bird.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter Birds Continued

In my last post, I shared how my children and I are learning about winter birds.  

Through online research, I found ways to create paper birds using various supplies and skills. On craft paper, I drew a simple tree top, and we tape the birds on.

The mural is a huge hit with my kids. Even my one-year old likes to point out their birds to guests.

Here are some of the birds we created.


Good photo: I really like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds website. Here is the page for the cardinal: Northern Cardinal. It includes a picture of the female, too, who isn’t as colorful as the male.

Activity: This is the activity we did at Ryerson Forest Preserve. The body is made by tracing your child’s foot and the wings are the child’s hands. The other pieces were pre-cut for us, so my 2 ½ year old just had to glue them in the proper places.

If you just want a coloring page, here’s a good one: Coloring Page

Good photo and facts: The types of owls around IL in the winter include the Great Horned Owl I (also try) Great Horned Owl II and Screech Owl

Activity: This owl was fun to do.  My 2 1/2 year old got practice using scissors, cutting strips of paper into squares: Owl Activity (There is also an Owl Template )

If you want an owl coloring page, I suggest you google “owl coloring page.” The variety of coloring pages is quite interesting—from very detailed anatomically correct ones all the way to an owl wearing overalls. I liked this realistic one: Coloring Page

And as for our new bird feeder, we had lots of chickadees today at lunch, as well as a cardinal.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Winter Birds Fun

Earlier this month, my two children and I attended a workshop for toddlers on Winter Birds. We learned which birds are around in the winter time, read stories, did simple activities, made a paper cardinal, and even went on a bird watching hike. Once we got home, we were very inspired and wanted to do more with winter birds.

Our first task was to create a homemade feeder to attract winter birds to our dining room window (the heart in the picture). We made one by spreading peanut butter on a piece of cardboard and sprinkling bird seed on top. We then hung it by a ribbon on a nearby tree. By the next morning, we had attracted many chickadees!

I’m not sure if birds were eating from the feeder, or waiting for squirrels to knock the seeds to the ground where they scavenged, but soon the feeder was seedless.

We decided to invest in a real bird feeder. We just installed this one last night. Unfortunately, it snowed horribly overnight, and, this morning, we didn’t have any visitors. We’re keeping our eyes out for them though.
We can’t get enough of winter birds.  I’m going to share the journey we’re been taking, and, hopefully, it will inspire others to learn about our feathery friends.