Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Birds, Nests, and Freebies!

Last week, I wrote a post about Birds at PreK and K Sharing.  I love Kevin Henkes' book, Birds, and I wrote about activities I use to go along with that book and other Kevin Henkes' books. 
This week, we have been using my Bird Nest Prezi a lot. We've watched different videos of birds building nests and looked at/talked about lots of different birds, types of nests, and what birds use to build their nests.   Spring is such a wonderful time of year to introduce children to different types of birds, and maybe even introduce them to a lifelong hobby of bird watching or just feeding and being aware of different types of birds.  

Every year, I have my children make Bird Nest Kits to help the birds in the spring.   I have trays with different items on them that the birds could use to make their nests.  The children fill up a brown lunch bag with whatever they would like to use to help birds build their nests.  Then, I staple the bag shut and put on one of these labels. 
The children's homework is to find a spot outside at home to dump the ingredients of the bag, so the birds can find some special treasures to use for their nests.  We talk about how exciting it would be to actually find a nest with a piece of yarn in it that they put out for the birds!

I love this picture because this bird used a snake skin in its nest!

This bird used some newspaper.

This video shows how the little robin uses its body to make the shape of the nest. I love this!

Then, the robin puts something softer on top of the mud for the eggs and babies. I love how the robin uses mud for the base to keep it sturdy.

As I call children over a few at a time to make the bird nest kits, the other children write about what they would use to make a nest if they were a bird.   If you would like a copy of this paper and the Bird Nest Kit label that I used, you can get it HERE!

The children love learning the different types of nests.  The names make sense: A cup nest is the shape of a cup.  The spherical nest is a sphere shape.  The platform nest is built on a platform.  The cavity nest is in a hole, just like a cavity in a tooth is a hole in a tooth.  A pendulum nest hangs from a branch like a pendulum on a clock.  We learned lots of vocabulary as we talked about the nests. I used the pictures for each type of next from my Prezi.

These pictures are always favorites!  I have had these  in my "Bird" file for EVER, so I am not sure where I originally got them.  The children love seeing the silly places that some birds built their nests.

How about in  a traffic light, on a mop, or on the top of a bird house?

We also talk about fiction and non-fiction books regarding bird nests.  My little "help" for this is that fiction is "fake" and non-fiction is "not fake."  The children love to point out how they never see birds wearing little hats, so that is fiction.  
 We also love this story!

Library Centers shared this great activity to go along with The Perfect Nest.
The Perfect Nest design and label printable
Here are some other wonderful FREEBIES that I found on TPT to use with a bird nest unit.  

Twinkl Printable Resources shared this  Eggs in Nest Addition Sheet 
Eggs In Nest Addition Sheet

and this Eggs in Nest Counting Sheet that would be fun for an independent math activity.
Eggs In Nest Counting Sheet

Cindy from KinderKay  has a precious Eggs in a Nest Subtraction Craftivity. I love all of her products. 

Eggs in a Nest Subtraction CraftivityEggs in a Nest Subtraction CraftivityEggs in a Nest Subtraction Craftivity 
This Robin's Nest Addition activity  by Julie Van Alst is a fun way for the children to practice addition facts! I also love Julie's products. 

Robin's Nest Addition 

This site, Allen's Hummingbird by S. Beals,  has beautiful photographs of  72 bird nests.  The children love seeing pictures of the different types of nests.
Here are some more of Sharon Beal's beautiful photographs of bird nests.

We made some simple bird feeders to hang in a tree above where the children leave their bird nest supplies, just in case the bird needs a little snack.  The children put multigrain Cheerios onto a pipe cleaner.  I made it into a circle, so they could hang it on a branch.  So easy - but they loved making them!  The kids thought that maybe the bird might even use that pipe cleaner in a nest.  You never know!

Here are some more  wonderful bird FREEBIES from TPT.

Montessori Print Shop has a great freebie showing 12 different Birds and Beaks with real photographs.

Animal Adaptation - Birds and Beaks

Mrs. Nelson is Missing shared a student Bird Book that would be a great addition to a non-fiction study about birds.  The students can record what they learn about their favorite bird.
My Bird Book - A Student BookletMy Bird Book - A Student BookletMy Bird Book - A Student BookletMy Bird Book - A Student Booklet

Jennifer Hier shared a sweet Counting Eggs: Bird Emergent Reader.

Counting Eggs:  Bird Emergent Reader FreebieCounting Eggs:  Bird Emergent Reader FreebieCounting Eggs:  Bird Emergent Reader FreebieCounting Eggs:  Bird Emergent Reader Freebie
Debi Forsyth shared a wonderful Types of Birds Easy Reader.  Love this!

I made this little paper to go along with her book, to show the children what each bird really looked like, so they could use it as a guide as they colored their books.  If you would like a copy of my bird pictures, just click on the picture below.  
I actually saved the page as a picture, and printed it out as a 5x7 picture, just to save some ink.  Then, I cut each one in half (since there are two strips on each page) and stapled a strip right onto the cover of each child's book.

The books came out so sweet! Thank you, Debi!

Mark Johnson made a Birds in a Tree math word problem freebie activity.

 Birds in a Tree  Part-Part-Whole Word Problems  Common CorBirds in a Tree  Part-Part-Whole Word Problems  Common CorBirds in a Tree  Part-Part-Whole Word Problems  Common Cor

Amber Bass shared a How Many Birds Do You See? counting activity.
 How many birds counting activityHow many birds counting activity

Simply Kinder has a darling Spring Subtraction  activity! 

Spring Subtraction Art FreebieSpring Subtraction Art FreebieSpring Subtraction Art FreebieSpring Subtraction Art Freebie

Bronwen Aiston made a great PowerPoint to show how to design a birdfeeder with recycled materials around the house.
Birds theme unit - Design and TechnologyBirds theme unit - Design and TechnologyBirds theme unit - Design and Technology

Danielle Irons shared these cute Bird Behavior Rules. They would be fun just to review with the class during a bird unit- and a great little vocabulary lesson.
Bird Behavior Rules

Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful day! What do you think of these nests?




  1. One other thing--I taught Kdg for many years and used to take the green strawberry baskets and provide nesting materials (as you did) but encouraged the children to use the materials to weave through the grid of the basket. Good fine motor! Plus they could add a pipe cleaner handle and hang it from a branch and observe the birds taking bits. :)

  2. I loved this post! I've been saving it in my email file until I really got a chance to read it. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful resources! I sure would have loved to have had my children in your class!
    Heidi Butkus

    1. Thank you so much, Heidi! Oh I wish I had your children, too- and most of all, I wish they had YOU! :) Of course I would have you send in a video of your hummingbirds. I think of them so often. :)

  3. hi, great post..
    the link for the bird book seems to direct to an incorrect link... it says miss nelson is missing but that doesnt appear to be the Correct Tpt user name can you please help as id really like the resource .


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