(Open picture game-Birds) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use them to spark a conversation with the children in your group and to ask them questions.
Transform your circle time area to make it look like a bird’s nest by pressing pictures and tiny branches or straw on the floor using adhesive paper. Discuss how birds are born (hatching), how and what they eat, how they learn to fly, build their nest, etc. Invite children to pretend they are birds. Encourage them to climb, jump, spin around, and fly. Enjoy the sunshine and go for a long walk to listen to chirping birds.
Bird-theme circle time activity
Each morning, have fun hiding an item related to the theme within your daycare. When children find the item, photograph it. Print the picture and display it on a special wall. Children will enjoy telling their parents about what they found at the end of the day. Name a “bird of the day” and grant him privileges.
Illustrated circle time board
(Open picture game-Birds) Print several pictures related to the theme and glue them on a large piece of colorful cardboard. Laminate your board. During circle time, use your board to present various items associated with your theme to your group. You can hand each child a dry-erase marker and have them circle the items as they identify them. This will help younger children understand what you are talking about.
A treasure hunt to discover the theme
(Open educa-decorate-Birds) Print and laminate. Set the illustrations on items throughout the daycare. Invite children to search for them. Name the items and invite children to guess the theme.
My own little nest
Cut large circles out of Kraft paper. You will need one for each child. Next, cut slits all the way around each circle and fold the tiny strips of paper somewhat with your fingers to represent nests. Set the nests on the floor in your circle time area. Children will love sitting on a nest during discussion periods.
The talking beak
Here, you will need a yellow or orange silicone oven mitt. Cut it above the thumb and glue 2 large wiggly eyes on the top of the mitt. Glue colorful feathers on it. Use this “talking beak” throughout the theme. Children will enjoy wearing it on their hand like a puppet when it is their turn to speak or participate.
(Open thematic poster-Birds) Print, laminate, and display where children (and parents) are sure to see it.
(Open educa-decorate-Birds) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Use them to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme.
(Open stickers-Birds) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create a collection of unique stickers. Use them to reward children throughout the theme.
(Open educa-theme-Birds) Print and laminate the different elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and children’s parents) while decorating your daycare.
Create a fascinating bird’s nest in the center of your table by setting tiny white Christmas lights in a clear container. Add Easter straw, tiny eggs, and chicks.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner.
(Open picture game-Birds) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.
Activity sheets are provided for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets-Birds)
Writing activity-B like Bird
(Open writing activities-B like bird) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation with the group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Birds) (Open giant word flashcards-Birds) barnacle, seagull, turtledove, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, snowy owl, blackbird, swallow, blue jay, hummingbird, cardinal, crow
(Open sequential story-Birds) Print, laminate, and cut out. Have children arrange the pictures in the correct order. With younger children, use fewer pictures if necessary.
Print and laminate the theme’s word flashcards. Have each child pick a word. They can take turns presenting their word to the group (ex. crow). Discuss each item and ask children questions to see what they know about the theme.
(Open picture book-Birds) Print and collect several pictures of birds and use them to create a picture book that both babies and older children will enjoy exploring.
Associating words and illustrations
(Open giant word flashcards-Birds) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall in your circle time area or on a large piece of cardboard that can easily be moved around. Read a word and invite a child to identify the corresponding flashcard.
(Open tally sheet-Birds) Print a tally sheet for each child. On a beautiful day, distribute the sheets. Give each family a sheet along with a clipboard. Encourage them to take a walk in their neighborhood and draw a tally mark in the appropriate column every time they spot a bird or an illustrated element. Have them bring their tally sheet back to daycare. Have children share their results with the group.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Tiny fruity bird feeders
For each child, you will need a tiny clean plastic needle. Give each child a long piece of burlap string and press one end on the table with adhesive tape. Provide tiny bowls filled with dry Cheerios cereal and blueberries. Children can, using the tip of their plastic needle, thread the string in the cereal, adding blueberries here and there. Knot both extremities together. Children will be proud to hang their natural bird feeder on a tree branch in your yard. Most of all, they will love observing the birds feast on the cereal and fruit.
Fine motor skill feathers
(Open fine motor skill feathers) Print and cut out several feathers. Using scissors, children cut tiny slits around the contour of each feather. Encourage them to control their snips so they avoid crossing the central vein printed on the feathers.
Threading on feathers
You will need two small bins: one filled with feathers (bold colors) and one filled with necklace beads of the corresponding colors. Invite children to thread the beads on the feathers, associating colors. They will slide red beads on the red feathers, yellow beads on the yellow feathers, and so on. Show them how they can slide the beads onto the feathers’ pointed tip and delicately slide them up for a very different threading challenge!
(Open giant bird pieces) Print, laminate, and cut out each piece. Children sit on the floor and assemble the pieces to see a giant bird appear.
Modeling dough activity placemats-Birds
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Birds) Print and laminate. Let children pick a placemat and provide modeling dough. Encourage them to use the dough to fill or reproduce the shapes that are on their placemat.
(Open string activities-Birds) Print for each child. Children trace the lines with white glue and then press string or ribbon in the glue.
Cardboard bowling pins-Birds
(Open cardboard bowling pins-Birds) Print, laminate, and cut out the birds. Glue each bird on an empty toilet paper roll. Arrange them in a triangle on the floor or, if you prefer, simply arrange them in a straight line. Children can roll a tennis ball or a small ball towards the bowling pins to make them fall. Encourage them to name the birds illustrated on the bowling pins that topple over.
(Open colorful birds) Print the birds. Laminate them and press them on the floor. Much like in musical chairs, children walk around the daycare to the sound of music. When the music stops, children must quickly find a bird to stand on. You may remove one bird at the end of each round.
Set a large bowl on the floor. Give each child a few feathers. Have them stand right in front of the bowl and try to drop their feathers inside, releasing them from shoulder height. After several tries, challenge children by using a smaller bowl.
Ask a child a question and when he responds, the other children must repeat his answer three times.
Yes or no?
Spread the pictures from the theme’s picture game upside down on a table. Have a child pick a card and hold it up for his peers to see (without looking at it himself). The child must ask his friends questions to try to identify the illustrated bird. The other children can only answer “yes” or “no”.
Variation: If children are too young to be able to name the different birds, add pictures of other types of animals and simply have them determine whether or not the picture is a bird.
Give each child a feather. Have them set their feather in the palm of their hand and blow on it to send it flying through the air.
Have children sit in a circle. Every time you say, “Birds fly.”, children must stand up and flap their arms (wings). If, for example, you say, “Dogs fly.”, they must remain seated.
Whistle like a bird
Teach children how to whistle. You will hear them practice throughout the day. If you are feeling very brave, let them try with soda crackers at snack time.
On a beautiful sunny day, go for a walk with your group and pay close attention to the sounds of chirping birds. Encourage children to imitate the sounds produced by birds. They can twirl around, jump, and climb as they sing, chirp, and whistle.
Eggs in the nest
(Open game-Eggs in the nest) Print the birds, the eggs, and the large nest. Laminate all the pieces. Cut out the birds and the eggs. Children must pick a bird and name both the number and color. Next, they set the bird in the nest and add the correct number of eggs of the same color.
(Open perching birds) Print, laminate, and cut out the cards. Children pick a card and slide tiny clothespins or paperclips of the corresponding color on each bird. You may also ask children to reproduce the different series using tiny wooden cubes, pompoms, or buttons. Encourage them to name the colors throughout the activity. Another possibility would be to use small items to represent one of the illustrated series and invite children to identify the matching card.
Drawing shapes with feathers
(Open feather shapes) Print, laminate, and cut out the cards on which shapes are drawn. Set a bin filled with feathers in the center of the table. Children pick a card, name the shape, and reproduce it by setting feathers of the corresponding colors on an overturned white bin under which you have set a lamp. Beyond working on shape and color recognition skills, the result of their work will be quite pretty!
(Open game-Four birds) Print, glue the cards on opaque cardboard and cut them out. Arrange all the cards upside down on the floor or table (so you can’t see the illustrations). Children take turns rolling a die. Every time a child rolls a “1”, he can turn a card. If he doesn’t already have this bird in front of him, he keeps it and places it in front of him for everyone to see. The first child who has collected all four birds wins.
Let’s count the birds
(Open let’s count the birds) Print, laminate, and cut out the birds and numbers. Have children set a number in the circle at the top of the scene and then add the corresponding number of birds.
(Open educ-association-Birds) Print and assemble the game in a file folder. Children must associate each egg to the bird of the corresponding color.
Educ-same and different-Birds
(Open educ-same and different-Birds) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the item that is different in each row.
Big and small-Birds
(Open big and small-Birds) Print and laminate the game. Attach Velcro behind each card. Children must press them in the squares in order, from smallest to biggest.
Hunt and seek-Birds
(Open hunt and seek-Birds) Print and laminate. Children search for the items in the scene.
(Open educ-pattern-Birds) Print and laminate the game. Children must use the cards to complete each pattern and set them in the correct squares using Velcro or adhesive putty.
(Open dominoes-Birds) Print, glue the cards on heavy cardboard, and laminate. This game is for 2 to 4 players. Each player picks 5 cards. Arrange the other cards in a pile on the table. Place one card. The first player must try to place one of his cards containing a matching illustration next to it. If a player does not have a matching illustration in his/her hands, he/she must pick another card. If he/she still cannot play, his/her turn is over. The next player must then try to match one of his/her illustrations to one of the illustrations at the end of the path created on the table. The first player to place all his/her cards wins.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Colorful wing race
(Open colorful wing race) Print a sheet for each child. Use a hole-punch or the tip of a pen to make a tiny hole in the center of each bird, where indicated. Fill a basket (which will represent a nest) with feathers (same colors as the birds). Pick a feather and show it to your group. Name its color. Children who have a bird of this color on their sheet slide the pointy tip of a feather of the corresponding color in the hole in the center of the bird to represent its wing. The goal is to be the first child to add a wing to all the birds on their sheet.
(Open mandalas-Birds) Print for each child. Encourage children to color the mandalas to offer a relaxing activity when needed.
Bird beak game
(Open bird beak game) Print and laminate. With the children in your group, color the bird and display it on a wall. Invite each child to color and cut out a beak. Blindfold one child at a time and invite them to try to press the beak as close to the correct spot as possible. If you prefer, you may use the color version of this document.
Give each child a piece of string with a piece of adhesive tape on one end. Have them thread Cheerios cereal on the string. Knot both ends together and hang these creations on a tree branch in your yard. Observe the birds as they feast on the cereal.
At snack time, serve granola bars or shelled sunflower seeds. Tell children they are eating bird food…
Slide grapes, orange and apple slices, and other types of fruit on wooden skewers. Knot a long piece of string on either end of each skewer and hang these natural bird feeders in trees in your yard.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Tiny rocking bird
(Open tiny rocking bird) Print the model for each child. Invite them to color and cut out the pieces. To assemble their bird, children fold the oval in half (both rounded extremities will rest on the table). This will be their bird’s body. Children fold the flap that is under the straight part of each wing (dotted lines) and press the wings on either side of their bird. They also glue both heads on either side and add a feather on their bird’s behind.
(Open my little birdhouse) Print and cut out the basic birdhouse shape and invite children to trace the contour of this model on a piece of colorful Fun Foam. Have them cut it out and glue a small Popsicle stick along the bottom of the birdhouse and 2 large Popsicle sticks on either side of the roof. Print the birds. Let children choose the bird they prefer. Have them color it and cut it out. Next, have them cut a circle out of black construction paper and glue it in the center, in the lower third of their bird house. They glue their bird next to this opening. Older children will enjoy decorating their bird house, for example by drawing flowers on it. Break a Popsicle stick for each child and help them write their name (or their bird’s name) on it before pressing it above the opening. Glue a ribbon behind each child’s birdhouse so they can be hung.
My birdwatching binoculars
(Open birdwatching binoculars) Print for each child. Have them glue 2 empty toilet paper rolls side by side. Help them cut a strip of construction paper that is the same width as the cardboard tubes and wrap it around them. Have them trace the wings on a piece of Fun Foam, cut them out, and glue them on either side of their binoculars. Next, they can glue 2 large wiggly eyes on their binoculars. To complete their binoculars, have them cut a diamond out of construction paper, fold it in half and glue it under the eyes to represent a beak. If you wish, add a long piece of ribbon so that children can wear their binoculars.
Bird mural-Group project
Hang a large piece of blue paper on a wall. With the children in your group, paint clouds in this “sky”. If you wish, add cotton ball or fabric clouds. Glue a large yellow circle in one of the top corners to represent a sun. Finally, cut bird shapes out of heavy paper or magazines and add them to your mural.
(Open models-Birds) Print for each child. Have each child color a bird using a bold marker. Next, they can glue feathers all over their bird.
(Open puppets-Birds) For each child, print a puppet on heavy paper. Provide arts & crafts materials that children can use to decorate their puppet before gluing a Popsicle stick behind it.
For each child, cut two holes out of a brown paper bag to represent eyes. Let children decorate their bag to make it look like a bird. Provide markers, feathers, and colourful scraps of paper.
(Open bird shapes) Print for each child (ideally on cardboard). Deposit birdseed on the table. Have children apply white glue all over the shapes and then press seeds on them. Let dry and display.
Draw a forest scene on a large paper banner with your group. When your forest is ready, invite children to cut birds out of magazines and glue them among the trees.
How to make bird masks
(Opens masks-Birds) Print. Set a large pile of feathers in the centre of the table. Give each child a paper plate in which you’ve already cut two holes for the eyes. Using scissors, markers, and glue, children decorate the contour of the eyes and add a beak before sticking feathers all over their plate. Attach a string behind each mask so they can be tied behind their head.
My three-dimensional bird
(Open 3D bird) Print and cut out the various pieces. Glue multicoloured feathers all over an empty toilet paper roll and then add the bird parts. Hang the birds from the ceiling.
My bird-shaped suncatcher
Trace a bird shape on a piece of clear adhesive paper. Provide feathers, tissue paper, and confetti children can use to fill the bird shape. When they are done, add another piece of clear adhesive paper on top and display the bird in a sunny window. This craft can be done individually or represent a group project.
Provide different types of feathers and encourage children to use them as paintbrushes with poster paint or watercolours on large pieces of paper.
Sticky sunflower seeds
Give each child a bird-themed coloring page and have them trace the outline of the shapes with white glue. Sprinkle sunflower seeds (or another type of seed) on the drawing, shake off any excess seeds, and set aside to dry.
Give each child a coffee filter and have them glue Easter straw all over it to create a cute nest. Add construction paper birds.
Invite each child to create a unique bird using a specific type of material: modeling dough, salt dough, feathers, buttons, pipe cleaners, glitter, pieces of cardboard, tissue paper, etc.
Collect tree branches with the children in your group. Let them paint the branches with a mixture of poster paint and glitter or use the branches as paintbrushes by dipping them in paint and using them to draw lines on construction paper.
Inflate a balloon and knot the end. Glue a construction paper beak near the knotted end. Have children cut bird feet out of cardboard and glue them under the balloon. Add eyes and feathers.
Use two empty toilet paper rolls per child. Have them decorate them and glue them side by side. Make a tiny hole on either side of their binoculars and thread a string through them. Children will love wearing their binoculars around their neck so they have them on hand to observe birds.
The birds are coming back
(Open models-Birds) Children must first cut out a bird shape and decorate it as they wish. Provide different arts & craft materials (including feathers) children can use to complete their creations. Hang the birds throughout your daycare.
(Open craft-Bird mobile) Assemble several bird pictures to form a mobile. Hang it over your changing table so children can observe it during diaper changes.
(Open coloring pages theme-Birds) Print.
The educatall team