Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time For Tots: A Day of Birds

This week we actually did our Time For Tots day today. We usually do our Time for Tots days on Thursdays and then I post about it the following Wednesday. Last Thursday came and went so did it today--which is why this is posting so late.

I have been asked a few times where I get the ideas for my days. Sometimes it is inspired by a book, sometimes something I see online, this time by a television show. Lucas has recently discovered Dinosaur Train on PBS and LOVES the show. And well, something we both learned from the show that all birds are dinosaurs. And after learning this fact, Lucas and Alex started playing birds, i.e. building nests, pretending to be the eggs hatching. So I decided to base the Time for Tot's day on their recent fascination.

We began by talking about nests.. and well nest starts with the letter N you know.
Lucas using his camera to take a picture of his work... do you think all my picture taking influences him much?

We then did a worksheet with pictures of different animals. The name of the animal was under the picture with one or two letters missing. Usually the first letter would be missing, so Lucas would sound out the word and write in the missing letter. The kids then circled the birds on the page. I was so happy with how well he did this.
And then we made our own birds. A couple of days after I thought of the theme for this week, Holly from 504 Main showed how to make some super cute bird decorations. And I thought, we can do that. She even has a template you can download and instructions, which can all be found here.

I printed out the pattern on card stock and then the kids traced the pattern onto scrapbook paper. I had to help Alex trace a little bit, but Lucas was able to do this on his own. They then cut out their pieces.Alex loves cutting, she does it all the time, so she is a pro with scissors and did not need any help cutting out. I helped Lucas with the curvy parts.

I didn't read the instructions very clearly and forgot to draw 1 set of the pattern on the wrong side of the paper.. so instead of having a three-dimensional bird, we ended up making two birds. Which became the mommy and daddy bird.

We then talked about nests and what things birds find and use to make their nests and then made nests of their own.

We used play dough to form the nests and the kids just added lots of feather and decorating grass and other various things I put on the table for them. And for our final activity we talked about how birds glide. We went to the top of the stairs and threw a flat piece of paper off the stairs and watched it glide gently down, back and forth. Then we threw a crumbled up piece of paper and talked about the differences. The kids loved it. It was a great Time for Tots's Day.

  • N-tracing letter found on DLTK's Crafts for kids here.
  • Inspiration for Animal/letter sheet from Enchanted Learning-but then I just made my own with free clip-art found online
  • Bird Pattern and instructions found on 504 Main here
  • Inspiration to build the nest: How Stuff Works or here
More Time for Tot's ideas can be found by clicking the Tab in my Navigation bar or here.

Come back tomorrow for an AMAZING giveaway!


  1. I love the birds they are sooo cute. And something so simple too.

  2. What a wonderful lesson on birds. I am going to borrow these idea for my own kiddos. I am so happy you made the birds (and that the template worked!). You birds turned out so cute! Thanks for the mention.


  3. What a good mom you are! I love that you let your kids make projects, letting them do their own crafts too! I seem to stress out...

    It looked like they had a blast--good idea!!

  4. What an awesome lesson! I'm going to have to look at your past time for tots as well. I want to start teaching my almost 4 year old and could definitely use some ideas!

    Your nests are fantastic! And I love how proud Lucas looks holding his completed worksheet!

  5. Wow! you have smart kids! My kindergartener is just barely doing those kinds of worksheets!
    You really ought to think about being a teacher.
    My Emma LOVES Dinosaur Train. She loves learning all about dinosaurs. We have a pretty nice museum here that has nothing but dino bones. I think we are going to have to make a trip before too long.
    I'll be back tomorrow!

  6. I liked how you covered a broad range of bird topics. The gliding and next building aspects were great ideas especially!

  7. Very fun and educational! I love it. Your kids are very lucky to have such a creative and dedicated mom!

  8. My daughter loves Dinosaur Train and so do I; it's one of the only shows I will actually stop in to see what's going on.

  9. What a fun project! I used to homeschool my oldest and we did all this fun I try to do crafts with her and she can stand it for about 5 minutes and then she leaves me to do it by rude!

  10. Another wonderful day of fun learning at your house...I love the Mommy and Daddy birds, more than 3 dimensional ones. Thanks for sharing this activity as it progressed.

    Lil Bits would LOVE the nest...may have to borrow that idea!

  11. Your kids always looks so involve and happy in their projects. And the birds came out great.