Birds of a Feather
You have probably heard the saying Birds of a feather flock together. For kids who have therapy sessions together, it may have a different meaning to them. The kids have similar needs but may not always accomplish them in identical ways.
Spring and summertime mean that more birds are outside. Kids can learn a lot by watching the way birds interact. In addition to this, it’s the perfect opportunity to take sessions outside and get some fresh air.
Books About Birds
While kids may see birds outside all the time, they may not actually know a lot about these animals. Begin by talking to everyone about birds and asking what they know. Then take some time to read a few books about our feathered friends. Some books which may work for your students include:
- Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Mel Boring
- Birds by Kevin Henkes
- About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill
- National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America by Jonathan Alderfer
- Beaks! by Sneed B. Collard III
- Mama Build a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward
- Letter Birds: ABC Bird Book by Pam Spremulli
- Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart
- Fine Feathered Friends: All About Birds by Tish Rabe
All of these are a great introduction to birds before heading outside to see what you are able to see.
Watching Birds in the Wild
Head outside to do some bird watching with your students. Bring out a big blanket and set up a space to sit back, relax, and observe. Therapists can ask, what sounds are birds making? Do the kids see different birds on wires, in trees, eating at feeders, or in other locations? If there are not a lot of birds in your area, you may want to make some bird feeders to place in locations where you will be able to observe. It’s easy to make some by spreading peanut butter on pine cones and then dipping them in bird seed to hang up.
While watching birds out and about, play some observation games together. I Spy is perfect to do while walking around or sitting on a blanket and watching your surroundings. If you are working on fine motor skills, bring out paper and pencils to have kids sketch what they see. You can also take time to talk about how watching nature makes you feel. Are you relaxed listening to the birds chirping and singing in the area?
To tie in with home, make and laminate some bingo bird watching cards. Kids can take these home with a dry erase marker and set of instructions on how to play. As a family, they may head out on a walk to see what they are able to find in their neighborhood. Be sure to include translations for all multilingual families to be able to participate.