Homeschool Bird Study
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One of the things I love about homeschool is the freedom to pursue some non-traditional subjects like bird study. I like to set up a basket filled with resources for our study topic and have it available for the boys to explore during the day. This season we are working on a bird study. Things that are out get played with.
I use a Raskog utility cart from Ikea to collect our themed items but you can really use anything that works for you.
I try to plan my themes out in advance so I can be on the lookout for the right items. Some I gather from other areas of the house. I find some at thrift stores. Holidays and birthdays are another great way to get the supplies you need for your baskets.
The Library though is the ultimate resource. Not only does ours have books, they have board games and tons of online resources and printables. It takes a bit of work to sort through it all but I’ve been able to find plenty of great stuff for our thematic studies.
Here is what I’ve got in our Bird Morning Basket.
- Nature Anatomy. Along with Food Anatomy and Farm Anatomy, this set of books by Julia Rothman is one of my favorite resources. They are full of beautiful pictures, simple explanations and project ideas.
- Wooden Eggs. I found these at the Target “spot” during Easter. The boys and I painted them to match some of our favorite real eggs. They are used in all sorts of imaginative play and matching games.
- Eyewitness Books: Birds. My parents had a full set of Eyewitness Books from our childhood that are likely riddled with things that are no longer true. The full color illustrations are a big hit with the kids though, so they always make it onto the cart. I often see these books in Thrift Stores.
- The Burgess Bird Book for Children. A book of stories about birds. It’s engaging and a great way to learn a thing or two while being immersed in the world of birds.
- My Bird Journal. This simple bird journal from tangle-wood hollow is all set up to help bird journal keeping be simple for kids. Ours is already turning into a beautiful keepsake of our time in Florida and our very bird-friendly backyard.
- Nest. This beautiful picture book by artist Jorey Hurley beautifully captures the life of a bird. The book draws all my boys in and is simple enough for my new reader to read on his own.
- A Nest Is Noisy. Learn all about different nests in this beautifully illustrated book.
- Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Birds. A beginners guide to bird-watching, geared at children. It has plenty of tips and tricks to get you started.
- Bird Bingo. This fun game is a great way to work on your bird identification skills.
- Window Bird Feeder. I was really skeptical if birds would be willing to feed at the window with three crazy kids running around inside, but we have had quite a few visitors.
- Bird Puzzle. This great puzzle helps kids learn the parts of the birds and underneath you can see the birds’ bones.
- Backyard Bird Jigsaw Puzzle. This is a great option to work together as a family while learning the bird names and finding them in the puzzle.
- Bird Match. This is perfect for our Little Little who is working on easy matching games and helps us reinforce the bird names.
- Backyard Bird Tube. These are perfect to use as counters for math lessons or just let the kids play with them while you read.
- Audubon Birds. These stuffed animals help kids learn to identify birds not only by sight but also by sound. We have found a million uses for them and continue to add to our collection as we learn about new birds.
I also try to plan field trips around our themes and studies. Luckily, there are a plethora of bird viewing opportunities in our area. Although, not all of them are song birds!
We also have done a lot of little crafts to encourage the song birds to come into our yard where we can quietly observe them. Making bird feeders was a great way to be hands-on with our bird study.
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