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BIRDS

FEATHER ART
Set out feathers (from a craft store or a feather duster). Give your children large bird shapes cut out of construction paper and invite them to try one of the activities below.
Decorate the bird shapes by gluing on the feathers.
Dip the feathers into paint and brush designs on the bird shapes.
 
Draw designs on the shapes with paint, using the stiff points of the feathers like pens.
 
BIRD NESTS
Give your children small paper bowls or margarine tubs. Set out items such as dried grass, twigs, leaves, string, and small feathers. Show the children how to mix the items with clay or thick mud to make nests in their bowls or tubs. When they have finished, let them add such items as white pebbles or pompoms for eggs.
 
EGGS IN NESTS

Make five nests by rolling down the tops of five brown grocery bags and filling the bags with shredded brown paper. Number the nests from 1 to 5. Set out 15 plastic eggs. Then invite your children to take turns reading the numerals on the nests and filling them with matching numbers of eggs.

BIRDSEED FUN
Identifying Colors: Place birdseed in small bowls for your children to examine with magnifying glasses. How many different colors can they see?
Making Counters: Use a squeeze bottle of glue to draw individual numerals on 4-by-5-inch squares of construction paper. While the glue is still wet, help your children sprinkle the numerals with birdseed and tap off the excess.
Pouring and Measuring: Place some birdseed in a large tub. Give your children a set of plastic measuring cups to use for pouring and measuring experiments.
 
BIRD NEST MATERIALS

In spring, birds search for items to use in building their nests, such as short pieces of yarn and string, dried grasses, and balls of hair shed by pets. Let your children help the birds make their nests with these activities.
Place items such as those above in a mesh vegetable bag and pull the ends of the materials out through the holes. Hang the bag on a branch outdoors for the birds to discover.
Lightly weave short pieces of yarn or string around the outsides of pinecones. Twist chenille-stem loops onto the pinecones and hang them on outdoor branches.

 
CARDBOARD TUBE BIRD FEEDERS
For each of your children, stand a short cardboard tube upright. Punch two holes in the tube across from each other near the top. Help the children cover their tubes with creamy peanut butter and roll the tubes in birdseed. Then thread a chenille stem through the holes in each tube to make a loop for hanging on a tree branch.
 
ROBINS & CROWS

Tune: "Frere Jacques"
Here come robins, here come robins,
Here come crows, here come crows.
See them fly around,
Landing on the ground.
Then, off they go!
Robins and crows!
Heather McPhail

Let your children pretend to be birds and act out the song as you sing.
 
BIRD SNACKS
Try one of these ideas at snacktime.
Birds on a Branch: Stuff celery pieces with peanut butter to make branches. Let your children top the peanut butter with raisins or fruit bits for birds.
Bird Nests: Make nests in small bowls using grated carrot mixed with mayonnaise. For eggs, add grapes or peas.