The format of our program is set up as follows: 45 minutes of exploring at their own pace the 8-10 activities which are spread out in a park or large activity room. Being outside works the best. These activities are followed by 15 minutes of group time which includes a theme snack and a story, fingerplays, or songs. Our class size is limited to 10 child-adult teams when inside and 15 teams outside.
Easy Bird Feeders
String Cheerios or old pretzels on a piece of yarn or ribbon. Tie the ends together and hang in a tree or bush. Provide enough to snack on too!
Count the eggs. Have your tot sort eggs into egg cartons. They can choose to sort by color or size.
Place a couple pieces of rice, millet (bird seed) or small pebbles in a plastic egg. Let your toddler shake it and dance to their own music. What does it sound like if you put other things in the egg? Try grass, bark, berries, etc. USE CAUTION! These items could be choking hazards. Adult supervision is required.
Who needs a paintbrush to paint? Let your toddler paint using a feather. *See note about feathers and nests below.
Place a feather under a piece of paper. Show your toddler how to make a rubbing using the side of a crayon (paper removed). Try different feathers and different crayons. Use the paper for wrapping paper or special cards. *See note about feathers and nests below.
Toddlers are fascinated by birds. Spend some time watching them. Viewing bird feeders behind a nearby window is a great way to see birds.
Count them. Notice that different birds come to different types of feeders. Why do you think that is? (Bird food preferences as well as location play a role in which feeder a bird will visit.) Notice the different colors on the birds. Birds are often more colorful in the summer than they are in the winter.
Are the birds big or small? Slow or fast? Can you fly like a bird? Use your arms or scarves for wings and pretend to fly.
Look for bird nests. What do birds use to make nests? Do you think you could make one using your mouth and your feet? Try it using a clothespin or fingers as a beak.
Create your own bird food snack using raisins, cereal, beetles (candy coated chocolate candies), dried fruit bits, and goldfish crackers.
Have you ever wondered why the eggs don’t break when Mama sits on them? Try this experiment at home. Wearing a rubber glove, place an egg in the palm of your hand. Squeeze with your fingers evenly. If the pressure is evenly distributed, the eggshell will resist cracking. If you squeeze more tightly with one finger, the egg will crack. Isn’t nature amazing?
Make a memory game by gluing feathers onto index cards. Use craft feathers or cut feathers out of construction paper. *See note about feathers and nests below.
For a more advanced game, paste pictures of birds on cards. Have your toddler match the feather to the bird. For example, a red craft feather or red construction paper feather matches a cardinal. An orange feather may be matched to a robin or an oriole.
A note about feathers and nests: Do not use real bird feathers unless you are familiar with local and federal wildlife laws. Many bird feathers and nests are protected and cannot be collected. Read the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for more information.
Activities provided by:
Toddling on the Wild Side
E Resources Group
2250 Stagecoach Rd
Webster City, IA 50595
Toddling on the Wild Side was supported by the REAP CEP grant program.