Backyard Birds for Kids

Did you know that some of the most common birds can be spotted right in your backyard? Observing backyard birds for kids is not just an exciting outdoor activity but also a fantastic learning opportunity for the whole family. 

From the vibrant cardinal to the swift hummingbirds, our feathered friends can teach children about nature’s diversity, bird behavior, and even local ecosystems. And what could be more fun than turning this into an educational adventure with free preschool printables? These resources help kids engage more deeply, encouraging them to record what they see and learn. 

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or simply a bird enthusiast willing to share your passion, guiding children through the world of backyard birding will open their eyes to the wonders of the natural world, fostering a lifelong appreciation for wildlife and conservation. 

Join us on this feathery adventure and discover the joys of birdwatching through the curious eyes of a child!

Bird lovers of all ages will find that exploring different kinds of birds right in their own backyards is not only accessible but incredibly rewarding. Every bird species has its unique behaviors, colors, and songs, making each observation an intimate glimpse into the natural world.

For young explorers, recognizing these differences fosters critical thinking and a keen eye for detail. Encouraging children to take note of the variety of birds they spot, from the tiny, flitting wren to the majestic soar of a hawk, provides them with a valuable lesson in biodiversity and the importance of natural habitats.

Thus, for bird lovers, guiding the younger generation in appreciating and identifying different kinds of birds is not just an act of sharing a hobby but a meaningful contribution to their education and environmental awareness.

How can we start bird watching without any special equipment? 

Luckily, you don’t need any fancy equipment to start bird watching in your backyard! All you need is a good pair of binoculars and perhaps a field guide to help identify the birds you see. You can also download free apps that can help with identification or use online resources such as birding websites and forums.

Another helpful tip is to set up a bird feeder or bird bath in your yard, as these can attract a wide variety of birds. However, even without any equipment, you can still observe and enjoy the beauty of backyard birds with just your eyes and ears!

Teaching kids to use their senses to spot and identify birds is a great way to engage them in nature and build their observation skills. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to bond and spend quality time together as a family or in the classroom.

Backyard Birds for Kids

To kick off this nature study with your preschoolers, consider starting with an engaging video that showcases the vast diversity of bird life. Videos are a fantastic way to capture the attention of young minds, offering vivid visuals and sounds that bring the subject to life.

This particular video features a wide array of birds, each with its unique characteristics, from the color of their feathers to their distinctive calls. It serves as an excellent introduction to what makes birds special and different from other animals.

The visual and auditory elements of the video will not only educate but also inspire curiosity and excitement among the kids, setting a solid foundation for a deeper exploration of birds. After watching, encourage the children to talk about what they learned and which birds they found most fascinating. 

Bird Books for Kids

Filling your book basket with engaging and informative books about different birds is a fantastic way to extend learning beyond the initial excitement. Here are some top picks that are sure to captivate young readers and fuel their curiosity about feathered friends:

  • National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America by Jonathan Alderfer: This colorful, easy-to-follow kid’s guide is perfect for young bird enthusiasts. It features over 100 species of birds found in North America, complete with stunning photographs and essential facts.
  • Backyard Birds (Field Guides for Young Naturalists) by Karen Stray Nolting and Jonathan Latimer: An excellent starter book for young birdwatchers, this portable field guide introduces kids to the amazing world of birds right outside their window. The gorgeous illustrations and simple descriptions make identification fun and easy.
  • Birds, Nests & Eggs by Mel Boring: Part of the Take Along Guides series, this book is a wonderful resource for kids interested in not just birds but also how they live. It includes activities and stickers to keep the learning interactive.
  • The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America by Bill Thompson III: Designed specifically for older kids ages 8 and up, this guide covers over 300 species and includes fun facts and tips on how to spot them. It’s more detailed, making it a great choice for budding ornithologists.

Most of these books can be borrowed from your local library, and they’re also available at many used bookstores. If you find it challenging to locate a copy, don’t worry! You can easily order them online by clicking the images below through my Amazon affiliate links. 

Not only will these books enrich your Backyard Birds unit study, but they’ll also provide hours of reading and discovery for you and your young learners. Don’t forget to check out the extensive list of recommended readings in my Backyard Birds unit study printable below for even more fantastic finds!

Hands-On DIY Project Ideas

Make bird feeders. To attract more birds to your backyard, hang bird feeders. Kids will love making their own bird feeding station. Here are ten bird feeders that preschoolers can make. Many of them can be made with common household items.

Go on a bird scavenger hunt! Grab some binoculars, and take a walk around the neighborhood. Visit a local park. Wherever you choose to go, take along the scavenger hunt page that is included in the Backyard Birds unit. See how many birds your preschoolers can find on one walk. Or, put a start date on the page and see how long it takes to check them all off.

Build a nest like a bird. This is an activity that can be done several different ways. First, kids can gather cushions and pillows from around the house to create a nest big enough for them to sit in. Fill it with balls and let them sit on their ‘eggs’ while you read to them. Or, they can build a nest out of nature and household materials. See the planning page in the Backyard Birds unit for a list of materials. Then, let them use the This Nest is Best page to write (or narrate) a how-to telling how they made their nest before drawing a picture of their nest.

Collect a real nest from a tree in your yard. Let kids explore it with a magnifying glass. Allow them to record (with your help, if necessary) their observations on the Birds Nest Observations page in my Backyard Birds pack. If you can find more than one next, let kids compare and contrast them.

Bird beaks are so interesting. Kids are intrigued by the difference in each bird’s beak. Read books about beaks. Try this beak activity which demonstrates how different beaks are designed for eating different foods. Let kids create their own bird beaks from cone cups. You’ll find directions in the Backyard Birds unit.

Study feathers. One of a bird’s most unique features is its feathers. Read books about feathers. Let kids explore feathers with a magnifying glass. Let them feel the texture. Discuss the purpose of feathers. Use a bag of colored craft feathers to complete the color sorting activity included in the Backyard Birds unit study printable. When kids are done sorting, let them use their feathers as paint brushes to paint a picture.

Create bird-themed sensory bins like these:

Study bird’s eggs. Birds’ eggs are so fascinating. They come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Now would be a great time to let your little ones practice cracking eggs (yes, real ones) in a bowl. Then can compare raw eggs and cooked eggs. Let them try this fun rubber egg experiment. They’ll be amazed! I promise!

It’s been a delight to share these bird-themed activities and resources with you! From making your own bird feeders to exploring the intricate design of bird feathers, each activity is designed to spark curiosity and deepen understanding of our feathered friends.

Remember, the goal is not just to learn about birds but to foster a lifelong appreciation for nature and its wonders. I encourage you to take these activities outside, explore your local environment, and see what birds you and your preschoolers can discover in your own backyard.

Keep the binoculars handy, the curiosity alive, and most importantly, have fun learning together. Birdwatching is a hobby that can last a lifetime, and it starts with these first, small steps. 

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