Teaching About Birds
This preschool bird activity is used to teach children about the living habits of birds. In the process of performing this preschool bird craft, children will develop creativity and coordination skills as well as increasing their knowledge about birds and recycling. To complete this activity, explain the following points to students.
- Birds are animals that fly.
- Birds live in trees because their natural environment is in the sky. The trees also help them in avoiding predators.
- Birds are natural recyclers, using small items they find on the ground to build their nests.
- Birds make a home of their nests and use it to keep warm and lay their eggs inside of it.
- Once the baby birds are born, they remain in the nest for a short time while the adult birds bring food back to the nest for them.
- Baby birds are literally pushed out of the nest when it is time for them to learn how to fly and create their own nests.
- Birds look for areas that offer protection to build their nests. Children may have heard birds in their eaves in the spring time; this is the reason.
Take students for a walk in a nearby park or area with trees. Explain to students that there are two goals for this walk. Students should be looking for a small, flexible or forked stick to use as a perch in the birdhouse they are going to create later. As students walk along and look for their sticks, they should also be looking for any birds that may be visible. Please direct their attention to small birds such as wrens so that students can understand these are the types of birds that will be living in the birdhouses the class will be making.
To further reinforce the importance of recycling, have students stop along the walk and look around to observer any litter that is visible. Mention to children that litter looks awful, but is actually quite easy to avoid. Discuss ways that people can help to eliminate litter.
Making the Birdhouse
To make the birdhouse, follow the instructions listed below.
- Ask children to bring in empty, clean 2 liter bottles with caps from home
- Flexible or forked sticks (these can be found by students on nature walk)
- Magic markers
- Cut a small hole (roughly the size of a half dollar) about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom on each plastic bottle, then cut 2 horizontal slits below the hole. The slits should be parallel to each other and be about 1-2 inches apart.
- Give each child a 2 liter bottle.
- Ask children to place the end of the stick inside the bottle and through the two slits so that the slits are holding it in place. If the stick is a forked stick, one end of the “fork” should be placed inside the slits.
- Help children to bend the stick so that it creates a perch for the bird outside the small hole.
- Ask children to decorate most of the bottle with the magic markers. You can also use tempera paint, but it will eventually be washed off by the rain. It is best to use sponges to paint a 2-liter bottle.
- Be sure that children leave an area on the bottle free of decoration. Children will then be able to use this area to look inside and see the birds' nest.
- Tie a piece if twine around the top of the bottle, then screw the lid back on. Children can use the twine to hang their bird house from a tree or other object at home.
Though the focus of this activity is to create interest and develop knowledge of birds and their nesting habits, this is also one of many simple recycling activities that children can do to learn about green living. In fact, as children learn more about birds and their habits, they will also learn about the way that birds are natural recyclers!