Simple activities can teach toddlers about birds. At this age, they can learn the different parts of a bird, such as the wings, feathers and beak. They can also learn to watch and listen to birds to learn directly from the birds. These activities will allow you and your toddler learn about birds together.
Go to a Park with Ducks
Take your toddler to a park with a pond or small lake to watch the ducks. Point out the features of ducks, including their wide beaks and webbed feet. Ask your toddler what colors she sees on the duck. You can also watch and talk about their behavior such as the sounds they make and how they eat. Do not bring bread to feed the ducks. Bread is not a food naturally eaten by birds and can cause malnutrition and other problems such as overpopulation and water pollution, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Go to a Nature Museum
Small nature and wildlife museums often have artifacts on display that you can touch. These usually include bird feathers, bird bones, bird skulls and stuffed birds. You and your toddler can touch and explore the different parts of the birds. A docent or staff member is usually on hand to answer any questions you or your toddler have about the bird artifacts.
Make a Nest
Teach your toddler that birds lay their eggs in nests by building a nest inside a box. The size of the box is up to you, but one that can be carried around easily as you gather supplies will work best. Take the box outside and help your toddler gather items such as sticks, feathers and long pieces of grass. These are the same items a bird would use to build a nest. Your toddler can then arrange the items himself to build his nest. If you have stuffed toy birds, he can use those to set into the nest and play. Use rocks as pretend eggs.
Listen for Birds
Take your toddler to a park or other location that has lots of trees, tall grasses or water that is likely to have a lot of birds. Then play a quiet game where you and your toddler sit and listen to the birds. With each song you hear you can have your toddler repeat the song and talk about how the songs do sound different. Each species has its own song that you can learn to recognize with practice.
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: Stop Feeding Waterfowl
- Look What You Can make with Paper Plates: Margie Hayes Richmond: 1997
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