The Nature Friends program is for 4 or 5-year old children with an adult. The maximum group size is 20 child-adult teams. Programs are outside unless weather does not permit.
“What is a bird?” They have feathers, most can fly. “Can you fly?” “What do you have all over your body instead of feathers?”
Name a few birds and name the color of their feathers. “Do all birds eat the same food and act the same way?”
Dress up a child as a bird with the feet and cardboard wing cutouts. Discuss that all birds have feathers, wings, and beaks.
Birds and Worms
Using clothespins for beaks have children pick-up worms (pieces of string, yarn or macaroni) with their beaks. Discuss how birds eat with their beaks and how worms are camouflaged.
Show examples of a variety of nests and materials that birds use. Using two fingers for beaks have the children build a nest with shredded paper, clay etc.
Go on a tour of their nest homes and have each child show off their nest.
Bird Hike (after the craft, below)
Bring toilet paper tube binoculars on a hike. These help the children focus on the birds. Stop often to look for birds. Binoculars can be used near bird feeders as well.
Craft: Toilet Paper Tube Binoculars
- toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes cut in half
- paper hole-punch
Tape tubes together. Have children decorate the binoculars. Punch one hole in the end of each tube. Tie string to tubes. This will be the strap of the binoculars so they can be worn around the neck. This can be a strangle hazard. Do not connect tubes or do not add strap to prevent this hazard.
Bird Seed Trail Mix (sunflower kernels, raisins, peanuts, and M& M’s (beetles) and a beverage. *Be aware of allergies. Substitute a cereal pieces or dried fruit instead. Make sure you read the labels.
Activities provided by:
Polk County Conservation Board
Nature Friends is funded by Polk County Conservation Board, West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.