Thursday, April 10, 2014

Birds in Spring

Our Nature Preschool group at Woodlawn Nature Center had smaller numbers due to Spring Break, yet was still very rewarding. We started with several gathering activities, such as making a bird collage or birds in a nest. Cutting old magazines is great for fine motor skills and using scissors. Children also could explore birds and color parts of birds, check out the wildlife viewing window, explore sensory bins, and more.

They also made toilet paper binoculars to take outside with them later. I loved watching the children work together to make and decorate their binoculars. 

During story time, we read Birds by Kevin Henke--this is a fun read aloud book, talking about feathers painting the sky and the many colors of birds. We also read Spring Changes, looking at the changes around us during spring. We also sang songs about spring, looked at birds nests, explored types of beaks, sorted bird pictures, listened to bird calls, and more! 

It was a nice day with jackets on and our birds (adorned with scarves) were ready to explore with their binoculars. Through the woods we found many interesting things.

We found the starts of Mayapple--a sign of spring! We found worms under the leaf litter. 

We found acorns splitting open, starting to sprout and make new oak trees. We found buds on trees ready to form leaves. We found holes in trees perfect for roosting overnight or making a nest.

We even found a tree fallen across the trail, making a perfect balance beam! We saw green sprouting up through the ground. What will this be? We'll check next week!

We checked on the hole we found on the trail during our last hike. Who lives down there? We turned over a log to find sprouting plants and fungi growing. 

There was even still ice chunks in our messy materials area! Back inside, we washed our hands and made birds' nests with peanut butter playdough, pretzel sticks, and candy eggs.

We spent so much time outside, we didn't have as much time for our indoor activities. There were several bird sensory bins available, bird pattern blocks, a variety of books, and more! 

The wildlife viewing window was ready for observing birds, though we mostly saw squirrels. They are fun to watch! We sent each child home with a kit to make a bird puppet at home. Looking forward to their creations!