Friday, October 29, 2010

Fun Friday: Start a Bird Book

Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.

 
After our birdwatching adventure at Malibu Lagoon last weekend, the big explorer and I were gushing about all of our favorite sightings. It seemed like the perfect time to start writing them down. Hence the idea for a bird book.

We decided we should start with the birds we see every day in our backyard – namely crows and hummingbirds.

We grabbed an empty notebook and some colored pencils and headed outside. The big explorer found a nice, quiet spot and started drawing. When he was done, I suggested he include an interesting fact about crows. (He also thought a plane was in order!)



We included a print we’d made earlier of a crow feather we’d found in our backyard.



Then the big explorer added a second page for hummingbirds.



It's my turn next, to make an entry for my favorite bird from trip to Malibu Lagoon – a great blue heron.

Take-Home Tips 

  • Keep it age appropriate. Refined sketches or photographs, as well as more detailed notes, would work for older kids; younger kids may do better with make-your-own bird flash cards (picture on one side, name on the other). 
  • Head outdoors for inspiration. Finding a quiet place to work allows kids to let the sights and sounds of nature inspire their entries.
 
More Ideas for Outdoor Fun
If you’ve got kids and live in the United States, this weekend is all about Halloween. To make a nature connection:

We’ll be supporting the big explorer’s school by attending its annual Halloween festival, then trick-or-treating with friends in the neighborhood. How will you be getting outside this weekend?

8 comments:

  1. Great post!!! This is a very good idea, easy to implement, and you can get loads of learning... Love it.

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  2. LOVE this, Debi. My kids and I are working on a field guide to the backyard. Our focus on it ebbs and flows, but it's a great way to learn more about our habitat and its visitors! :0)

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  3. @Zablon: Thanks for your comment!

    @Mike: Thanks for the field guide recommendations!

    @Kelly: Glad to hear you guys are working on a backyard field guide. We love ours!

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  4. I LOVE this! I created a Tree journal with my preschool class the last year I was teaching, and everyone contributed drawings, bark rubbings, and pressed leaves from their own yards. I've been thinking about doing the same with Shane as he gets older, but now I'm loving the bird journal idea! I may wind up picking up a blank sketch pad someday, and encouraging him to create a general nature journal, including trees, birds, and whatever else catches his interest.

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  5. @Crystal: A nature journal is a fun way for the little ones to record their favorite things. Hope you guys have fun w/ it!

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  6. Sigh. I can't BELIEVE you have Hummingbirds in your yard. Hummingbirds!

    My daughter and I keep a nature journal too (but no hummingbird sketches in ours...)

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  7. @SquiggleMum: Yes, our backyard has many hummingbird visitors. I guess we're lucky in that department! :-)

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