Birds are everywhere! Their abundance is part of what makes them so fun to observe! Birds are found in every habitat in Iowa so even if your school is in an urban area you should be able to observe birds in your schoolyard (think robins, crows, etc…). Take children on a walk around your schoolyard or local park to observe birds. Ask them if they have ever seen birds at school before? In their own yards? Somewhere else? What was the birds doing? Why do they think it was doing that?
Tips for Bird Watching with Young Children
- Keep it short – young children have short attention spans, keep the walk short or go on several shorter bird watching trips
- Take it slow – let the children be the lead, walk slow, look & listen
- Bring a field guide – children will enjoy looking through the book, and you can look up any birds you see (even if you already know what it is)
- Look for bird evidence – droppings, tracks, old nests, etc…
- Bring binoculars – bring a pair of real binoculars to share, and make toilet paper roll “binoculars” before your walk Bring paper and pencil – takes notes on observations, questions, etc…
- Reflection time after your walk – encourage children to share their observations and experiences from their walk