MOVE. LEARN. EXPLORE. with WinterKids: BIRDS

MOVE. LEARN. EXPLORE. with WinterKids: BIRDS

MOVE. LEARN. EXPLORE. with us! These ideas can be adapted and used in a home setting or classroom setting. Follow along for our book recommendations, fantastic resources for learning more about birds, a simple binoculars craft for backyard bird watching, bird-themed Simon Says, songs about birds, and even bird-themed yoga!

BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog2
BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog1

LEARN

BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog13
BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog3

Every Day Birds

Written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Illustrated by Dylan Metrano

Every Day Birds is full of beautiful paper cut images of 20 common North American birds. There is one page for each bird, with one identifiable trait for each bird, wonderfully weaved together as a poem. This is a fantastic children’s book for sparking an interest in identifying birds. It isn’t overloaded with facts, but for those who would like to learn more, there is a section at the end with additional information about each type of bird. 

Fun fact: The illustrator, Dylan Metrano, is from Maine! The illustrations on the first page –  silhouettes of birds flying, is inspired by the birds he sees flying over his home in Monhegan Island, Maine!


Additional Books We Recommend

Rubys Birds by Mya Thompson
Ruby’s Birds, by Mya Thompson, Illustrated by Claudia Dávila
Additional Book Big Book of Birds
The Big Book of BIRDS by Yuval Zommer
Additional Book Birds Nests and Eggs
Birds, Nests and Eggs: A Take-Along Guide by Mel Boring and Linda Garrow

Don’t want to wait for books to arrive in the mail before you get started? Check out this read-along of Ruby’s Birds, courtesy of the Detroit Zoo!


Let’s Learn More!

A (Free) Learning Resource

The National Audubon Society has launched a new, and absolutely wonderful, “Audubon for Kids”! Here you’ll find 10 weeks of free, high quality, thematic lessons, and learning activities about birds for children.

Audubon for Kids

EXPLORE

After reading Every Day Birds, create your own binoculars! Use them to spot birds near your home! Here is our simple yet fun DIY binoculars tutorial…

DIY Binoculars

Materials

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Stapler
  • Hole puncher
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Washi tape, paint, or markers (optional)

Step 1

Make a small hole for ribbon on one side of each toilet paper roll.

Step 2

Decorate toilet paper rolls. We used a little bird stamp and washi tape. We recommend keeping it simple 🙂

Step 3

Arrange the 2 toilet paper rolls together, and staple the middle walls together, on both ends. Be sure the holes for ribbon are on the outer sides.

Step 4

Measure the ribbon to fit your child appropriately, then lace the ribbon through the holes on the sides and securely tie each end.

Voila! Hello binoculars!

BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog9
BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog10

Backyard Bird Watching, Questions to Ask:

  • Let’s use our new binoculars to find birds!
  • Can you find a bird that we read about in our book?
  • What time of day do you usually see more birds in your yard?
  • Let’s sit and listen for a moment….
  • What song is that bird singing?
  • What type of bird is it?
  • What is that bird doing?
  • What do you think that bird is saying?
  • How many different bird songs can you hear?

*Field Notes: Bring along a little notepad and pencil, so your child can draw pictures of the birds you see and jot down their observations. 

*Field Guide: Bring along a field guide for your area to help identify birds. If you don’t have a field guide for your area, the Merlin app is a great resource! Merlin is a free, family friendly app, that can help you and your children work together to identify and learn more about the birds you find! Learn more at https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/

Merlin App

This is also a great way to help keep children engaged on hikes!

BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog11
BIRDS for Preschool and Early Elementary WinterKids Blog12

MOVE

Play! Bird Themed Simon Says:

Play Simon Says! We’ve created a bird-themed version that you can download and print for free. We left a few spots open for kids to use what they have learned about birds in their area to create their own Simon Says commands.

Simon Says…

-Swoop like an owl
-Hop like a sparrow
-Search for nectar like a hummingbird
-Tap on a tree like a woodpecker
-Dive for prey like a hawk
-Soar like an eagle
-Flap your wings like a puffin

Birds Printable Preview

Dance! Here are our favorite children’s songs about birds:


Yoga! Bird themed yoga by Cosmic Kids Yoga (for free!):


#MoveLearnExplore

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MOBILE, KID-CENTERED, TEACHER-APPROVED, RESULTS-DRIVEN, AND AWARD-WINNING

229,428

Students, Teachers, and Families Impacted in Maine & New Hampshire since 2010!

WinterKids is the only nonprofit in Maine dedicated exclusively to increasing outdoor physical activity in children and families during our longest, most sedentary season.  

The shorter, darker, and colder days of winter and the increasing allure of screen time make it all too easy for kids and families to “hibernate.”  At WinterKids, we make it our business to provide kids, parents, and teachers with the right option: to get outside, get active, and have fun in the winter – and year-round.

Outdoor kids are active kids. Active kids are healthy kids. Healthy kids are happy kids. Happy kids are “winter kids.”

SEASON WRAP UP

FY2021

With outside being the safest and best place to be, WinterKids has truly thrived during the pandemic! We were able to reach nearly 27,000 kids, teachers and families in Maine and New Hampshire with creative adaptations for safe, outdoor adventures. Check out our 2020/2021 Season Wrap Up Report!

annual report

FY2020

We are so thankful for our WinterKids Family – sponsors, foundations, teams, friends, volunteers, board and staff – and most important, the KIDS we serve. 2020 was a fantastic year for our organization, reaching over 35,000 (!) kids, family members, and teachers with innovative, outdoor education programs.