Joyful Learning in April

April was all about birds. Technically, it was supposed to be about birds for half the month and baking for the other half but we never got around to baking. We do a lot of baking on our own so having Lucy help me make bread or pizza would be similar to asking her to help me fold laundry or put away dishes - she likes to help me do those things but would not consider them to be special fun school projects. It worked out since we were sick a lot of April anyway.

But don't feel bad for us, we had a great time learning about birds! In fact, I was a bit sad looking over the pictures because I did a really bad job capturing all the fun we had. A lot of our bird fun involved talking, watching and imagining and those don't always make good pictures. I'd rather have good memories than good pictures but it makes it a bit harder to blog about.

We started by talking about the parts of a bird and colored in a little booklet. Talking about the parts of the bird led to a discussion about how we could describe birds and identify them. We then did this matching game. Our printer was out of color ink and it ended up being much harder if printed in black and white, oops!

blankets 045

I had a neat birds of Missouri poster from our conservation department and I actually cut it up and laminated the individual birds so that I could put them on a ring. I only put a few on to start with, ones I had seen in our yard before. As we've seen new ones, we've added them to our ring. It makes it easy for Lucy to flip through and find the right one and I can read her the name. It's been less than 6 weeks since we started this and she can already identify 4-5 by sight.

To encourage us to remember to actually watch for birds, I picked four birds from this printable that were easy to identify and that I knew we saw fairly consistently and she pasted them on top of a large piece of paper. For a whole week we marked what birds we saw everyday, counted them and talked about more and less.

blankets 046

jl birds 001

We also learned that you can identify birds by their sounds. I am not very good at this but we had a fun time listening to the different sounds here. This activity was even more fun once we realized the cat didn't know the birds weren't actually in the room and would search frantically for them every time we played one. Apparently she is better at bird song identification than we are :-)

Then she decided she just wanted to draw some birds by herself.

blankets 048

 I know I'm biased but I think she did a great job and I even took my favorite to be a cover for a binder. Nothing brightens up my organizational supplies like kid's art. In case you are wondering, it is a harrier hawk and its nest. She told me it was but I didn't know what a harrier hawk was so I had to google it because I kept asking if she was saying "carrier hawk" (which isn't really a type of hawk but I don't know hawks and I guess I was thinking about carrier pigeons) and she was getting upset with me. I have no idea how she knows what a harrier hawk is but there you go!

jl birds 002

Another day we sorted feathers and made patterns.
birds 008

birds 006

And we even made two types of nests. The first was made out of yarn and mod podge using a balloon as a base (we popped it once everything was dry).

birds 012

birds 011

I was really impressed at Lucy's cutting skills. We haven't done much cutting lately because her scissors got lost but I recently found them and thought she might be able to handle cutting the yarn if I held it for her. But then I turned around to get something and when I turned back, she had already cut some all by herself. I guess I should also be thankful that she only cut the yarn!

The second type of nest was made out of chow mein noodles, chocolate chips and jelly beans leftover from Easter. Not a particularly healthy snack but I was trying to use up things I had on hand. This is another cute nest snack if you are hoping for something healthier. We also watched a bird hatch out of an egg and hung up some pretty birds in the window (and a chance for threading and more cutting practice).

The best parts of the bird unit were the unplanned ones. She did a lot of pretending this month. She started to pick out outfits so that she could be specific birds (her favorite was red shirt = robin) and call us different birds according to what colors were were wearing. Then she would find whatever empty basket or box she could, fill it with her silkies and plastic Easter eggs and sit on "her nest." Even when I thought she wasn't pretending to be a bird, she probably was because everytime she got hurt, she would start crying "cheep cheep, mommy, the baby bird hurt her toe, tripped, etc."

I did get these pictures of her being a robin in the rain. She sings the song "Robin in the rain, what a saucy devil" which in case you are unaware, is not quite how it is supposed to go but there is no changing her mind once she's decided. And yes, I'm the mom who buys her kid awesome rain pants but completely forgets that she doesn't have a rain jacket or rain boots.
april fun 031

At first she wouldn't go out in the rain but this was also the day our new furnace was being installed and she saw the penguins on the truck and had to go give them a hug. Once she was out there, she had no trouble splashing away,  

april fun 027

april fun 036

And that's what we did last month. 

No comments :

Post a Comment