Birds are popular with preschoolers because they can be seen or heard almost every time the tots go outside. Birds' feathers, beaks, songs, nests and eggs only make them more alluring to tots. Utilize this natural love and curiosity to teach your preschooler more about this beloved species. Use bird-themed activities to teach your tot about life cycles or to simply celebrate bird week, spring or Easter.
1. Paperbag Nest
Give your child a paper lunch bag and instruct her to open it at her workstation. Tell her to carefully roll and crush it down without ripping it to look like a nest. Let her use shredded paper, twigs or store-bought grass to fill up the nest. Give her half of a real eggshell washed out with soapy water or half of a plastic eggshell to place in the nest. Have her make a bird by gluing a small pom pom to a large pom pom. Glue on black felt eyes and a yellow felt beak. Place the bird in the shell and put the shell in the nest.
2. Paper Plate Robin Redbreast
Gather three paper plates and instruct your preschooler to color or paint them brown. Let them dry. Cut out the center section of the first plate, give it to your tot and tell her it's the robin's head. Give her two googly eyes and an orange felt beak to glue on the head. Cut a piece of red felt the size of the inside of the second plate and glue it on that plate for the robin redbreast's body. Glue the head onto the body. Cut the third plate in half and staple the halves on the sides of the robin's body with the straight edges facing out to look like slightly fanned wings. Staple two black pipe cleaners to the back of the body so they stick out like legs.
3. Handprint Bird
Let your child pick a color of nontoxic paint for her bird. Brush the paint on her hand and press it firmly in the middle of a white piece of paper with her thumb fanned out and the other four fingers close together. Let it dry. Cut an almond-shaped piece of felt, the same color as the paint she chose that is about half the size of the palm of her hand and glue it on the bird's body as its wing. Give your preschooler a brown marker and instruct her to draw a nest under the bird. Give her a small, orange, felt triangle to glue to the outer edge of the thumb as the beak. Give her a googly eye to glue on the thumb in front of the beak.
4. Pinecone Birdfeeder
Give you preschooler a pinecone with a good amount of space between each row. Hand her a plastic knife and instruct her to slather peanut butter between each row of scales. Put a cookie sheet under the pinecone. Give your child a bowl of wild birdseed and have her sprinkle it all over the peanut butter so that it sticks and all the peanut butter is covered. Tie a ribbon or string around the top of the pinecone and hang it from a tree or in front of a window for birds to perch on and enjoy.
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images