It’s time for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch! Children love any opportunity to be outdoors, in a garden or park, and enjoy the challenge of spotting birds.
Feed the birds
Making a bird feeder, like this Apple and Seed Bird Treat, is a simple and fun actvity, will help attract birds into your outdoor space and is also great for talking as you do it.
The best way to learn new words and to practise talking is during everyday activities.
Just like cooking you can introduce the names of the ingredients such as seeds – talk about the different colours, shapes and sizes. Chat about what you’re doing and what you’re going to do next.
Once I saw a little bird
If you’re watching a bird feeder from a window you might enjoy reciting the rhyme Once I Saw a Little Bird.
You’ll find this rhyme with a freebie robin lolly stick puppet here.
Flip flap and flutter
Have some syllable fun and get the children to flip flap flippety flap or flutter their arms (or lolly stick puppets) like birds.
Hide a bird (a puppet or a toy) outside and enjoy the opportunity to model and reinforce concepts – “Can you find the robin? There he is! He’s behind the slide.”
These are standalone activities but you can make links to the robin, Flip Flap in our Early Soundplay book Clip Clop’s Picnic
Identifying the birds
If the children stay still and listen carefully can they hear any bird song? Does it all sound the same? Talking about any birds they hear or see is a natural way to introduce some new vocabulary.
Can the children identify the different parts of a bird? Feathers, wing, beak and claws – all of these may be new words and looking at pictures of birds provides opportunities to hear and practise saying these words. Can they see the different coloured feathers? Compare the beaks of different colours and sizes.
It’s also not too late to participate in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch – register and submit your results by 22nd February. They’ve got some great free resources for you to enjoy too!