Sunday, July 1, 2018

Our Feathered Friends 2018

Our Feathered Friends

Sign up here.
Who: Dr. Carla Gull from Inside Outside Michiana with six years of experience with nature preschool playgroups will facilitate the study group. The group is open to 3 to 6-year-olds with a caregiver.  A minimum of 8 children must sign up, with a maximum of 15 children in the target age range.
What: A STEM unit on Birding for Preschoolers from Mass Audubon. Birding topics will be explored through nature exploration, playtime, story time, and art projects.
Where: mostly at Carla’s house just north of Goshen off of 15—address will be given to confirmed participants
When: Fridays (see below), 9:30-11:30 am, please arrive on time and make a commitment to all sessions
Why: Early childhood is the perfect time to connect to the wonders of nature!
Cost: Free—a nice donation for supplies and other nature education supplies is welcome and appreciated.


Dates:

August 17-What do you know about birds?
August 24—What are feathers? How do they help birds?
August 31—How are beaks useful to birds? Why are they different?

September 7—What sounds do birds make? Are they all the same?
September 14—What are nests? How are they made? How do they help birds?
September 21—How do birds survive?
September 28—NO MEETING

October 5—What is migration? Why do birds migrate? Do all birds migrate?

October 12—Birding celebration!

Please wear weather appropriate clothing and shoes as we will be outside.  If cancellations/rescheduling are needed due to inclement weather, watch for a message by 8:30 am on the day in question.

Sign up here

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Hedbanz and Birding



What a fun evening! My youngest wanted to play Hedbanz and my 11 yo had a stack of cards from an Indiana Young Birders Club quiz at the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival nearby. The Shopkins Hedbanz version is even cheaper right now. We thought, why not combine them. At first, we were going to use laminated bird pictures I have (which could be done), but the uniform size of these Discover Birds of America playing cards worked really well. The Sibley Flash Cards or Professor Noggin cards would also work. Bird Bingo would also give some selection as well. We played "sevens," naming the birds as we put our cards down after. We know the scientific name of an anhinga is anhinga anhinga as a result of kids interacting, too!


We play twenty questions a fair amount so are used to asking yes/no questions, often starting with more general questions and moving to more specific questions. It seems like we started asking these types of categories:
  • Type of bird--backyard, feeder, aquatic, bird of prey, woodpecker, warbler, etc.
  • Habitat--where would we find the bird
  • Size--sparrow sized, robing sized, duck size, Canada goose size or larger
  • Color--red, black, yellow, etc.
  • Food preferences--fish, berries, bird seed
  • Behaviors--perch in tree, in the water, wading, etc. 
  • Type of feet or beak
I almost felt like we were going through the questions in the Merlin Bird ID app. :-)




Honestly, this could work with any nature topic--trees, leaves, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, animals in general, etc. We had a lot of fun and am sure we will play it again soon! How might you use Hedbanz to learn more about nature? What games do you enjoy about nature?

We like nature and games! Here is a link to other nature related games we've enjoyed. Find a podcast about beginning birding and other resources here






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Friday, June 1, 2018

Podcast: Last Child in the Woods





Find the Podcast episode here

“The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.” 
 
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder


“It's a good thing to learn more about nature in order to share this knowledge with children; it's even better if the adult and child learn about nature together. And it's a lot more fun.” 
 
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

“Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our chidlren's health (and also, by the way, in our own).” 
 
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

“One of my students told me that every time she learns the name of a plant, she feels as if she is meeting someone new. Giving a name to something is a way of knowing it.” 
 
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

“and old Indian saying: 'It's better to know one mountain than to climb many.” 
 
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

“The physical exercise and emotional stretching that children enjoy in unorganized play is more varied and less time-bound than is found in organized sports. Playtime—especially unstructured, imaginative, exploratory play—is increasingly recognized as an essential component of wholesome child development.” 
 
Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Find Last Child in the Woods here (aff link):