Birds Indoor Activities
Bird Invitation To Play
Set up an invitation to play with a bird theme. The idea is that your child will be able to come to the activity as they please, and that there is an open amount of possibilities of what they can do, rather than a right or wrong way of doing the activity. In our Field Guide To Birds we have a set of prints to inspire your invitations to play, from exploring and looking at feathers, to counting games with nests and eggs, to finger puppets, masks, costumes.
Here’s a simple invitation to play: Can you help the birds catch the worms? Set out child size tweezers or pincers and some pieces of cut string that can act as ‘worms’. Put your little worms in a dish, or on some brown paper and add some pictures of birds, or little bird figures/toys that you may have. The general idea is for your child to practice using their pincer grip (they can also use their fingers if they’re not ready to use the tweezers) in a bird themed activity.
Bird Migration Map
Bird migration is fascinating, particularly for older children who have an understanding of the wider world, destinations, maps and travel. This concept could be too abstract for younger children who are not yet learning about their wider world or maps. With children who are ready, you can research bird migration and draw it onto your map. Or create small models of birds that can be pushed around the map to deepen understanding of movement and journeys. In our Field Guide To Birds we have a world map designed for exploring bird migration. Researching this topic and using the map as a tool may evoke questions such as, Do birds return to the place where they travelled from? How do birds know when it is time to leave or return? Do some birds fly in groups and some birds fly solo? Do they stop for rests? Have fun with this topic of migration – write down all your questions before beginning and use your list of questions as a reference point to continue your studies.
Free Bird Mobile
We have a Toolkit of free materials on our website. Within the toolkit you’ll find a free bird mobile activity. This is a simple craft to do together at home. Simply paint the birds on the print out, cut out, assemble and hang from branches in a vase, a twig to use as a toy, or a stick to create a wall hanging. When I did this activity in schools, I took the children out to observe the birds, to watch and be still. This gave the children ideas for the colours they wanted to paint their birds. I also provided images of birds, so that if they wanted to they could make their painted mobiles look like specific birds. This is a lovely way of embedding children’s knowledge about the birds they are learning to identify.
Make a bird nest craft (from our rhythm)
Observe the birds building their nests. Have you see any birds flying with twigs in their mouths, or any birds weaving materials into their nests? Depending how long it takes a bird to build their nest, sometimes you can visit the nest day after day and see how the nest is progressing. This works especially well with larger birds who are less discreet than small birds who hide in hedgerows and trees.
At home make your own birds nests. Gather materials such as twigs of various sizes, moss, feathers, fleece, hair and soft natural materials. Lay them on a tray with a bowl. The bowl will be the size of your finished nest. Begin building a nest inside the bowl by laying twigs and other natural materials inside, lining the whole bowl. Now add a softer layer to the inside, using fleece, moss, feathers etc. Press the layers down and carefully tip your nest out of the bowl. You can display the nest on a nature shelf, or suspending in a branch in a vase. Perhaps you have a little egg or bird figure that you can add to your nest too.
Design your own Fact Cards
This is a take on the ‘Top Trumps’ card sets and a way of celebrating all you learn about the birds as you study them. Create your own cards by cutting a set of same sized cards. Draw a chosen bird on each card and add facts about the birds as you learn them. You may like to choose specific facts you are learning, such as how far a bird migrates, how may eggs they lay, or wing span. ‘Top Trumps’ are usually split into categories that can be scored – this way the scores can be compared between birds/cards. We have a template for a set of cards in our Field Guide To Birds, or you can create your own. As you continue your studies you can create additional cards and create a ‘pack’ over time.