Wednesday, May 19, 2010

stART: Nest Activities





This week for stART we did BIRDS and NESTS.

We read a nice, peaceful book, Robin's Home and then made nests. Jeannine Atkins has some other activities on her website like this one: I love to think and write in a sort of nest I make by piling up pillows. Do you have a place where you feel safe and happy? Draw or write about your favorite “nest.” And the book recommends simply just cutting short pieces of yarn and having your child hang in them in a tree.
We actually started out earlier this week by reading The Best Nest. Muffin Tin Mom's Linktheme this week was BIRDS and NESTS. HERE was our nest-themed muffin meal if you missed it.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It has good illustrations, and it has a cute ending with a nice "be content/you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" kind of theme. BUT it really bothers me how rude Mrs. Bird talks to her husband. She complains and makes him find her a new home. Although she realized she loved her original home after all, she never ends up apologizing at the end. This was a good discussion for us about how NOT to communicate with your family (or anyone). Maybe I'm taking it too seriously, and the kids only seemed to notice the cute little song the Mr. Bird sings, but I felt like I needed to point it out to them, anyway.

After we read Robin's Home, I had the kids recall all of the items the birds from both books used to make their nests. I sent them off to gather any of those items they could find. They returned with grass, mud (and even added some pine needles and leaves), yarn, stuffing, and even hair from my brush (A little gross - but they actually liked pulling it out of the brush, and it does make a nice nest.). They glued their nests together onto cardboard squares I cut from a cereal box, etc.

Dash found a little worm in the mud from his bucket.
They worked really hard on their nests, and they turned out great. The picture doesn't do them justice because you can't completely see the depth and sides.
We happened to have several leftover blue Easter eggs (a little large!) so they put them in their Robin's nests.
Dash happened to do a Bird Unit at Pre-K recently. They made these little bird nest helpers.
They just cut bits of string, ribbon, and fabric and tied it up in the kind of net that holds oranges, etc. in produce. Dash picked the tree where he wanted the ball to hang.
We had been saving some gluten-free bagels (that we didn't care for) in the freezer for just such a project. We usually do this every winter for the birds. They spread peanut butter on their bagels...

and rolled them around in birdseed.

They kept wanting to eat the peanut butter and lick their fingers, but I told them not to because it was cheap p.b. that had been in the fridge awhile just for the purpose of projects. After they finished, they were both suddenly starving for nut butter so I dished them out some of their sunflower seed butter, and they each had two little cups full.
For more stART projects, visit A Mommy's Adventures by clicking on the stART button at the top!

10 comments:

Annette W. said...

How fun! I think I would have similar issues with the book. M picks up new words and attitude easily now...

Charlene said...

Wow those are some pretty awesome bird nests! Passing through via stART!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

I love the nests! My daughter recently found a downed robins nest (complete with eggs!) so this would be a great follow-up activity. Thanks for sharing. :)

htebazile said...

I love all your bird activities and those nests are too cute! My older son and I made something similar to the nest helper, we put some lint from our dryer in it....BAD IDEA! The birds most have liked it because a week later they built a nest in our dryer vent, I felt terrible when I had to get rid of it!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love all your bird activities. What fun!

RedTedArt said...

Lovely birdsnests!!! and also love the bird nest help ball. Great idea!!! Mine would also eat the peanut butter instead of making feeders... sigh

Brimful Curiosities said...

Bird nests are truly works of art. I love inspecting ones we find outside. Your nests turned out pretty neat!

Julie said...

What fun activities!! My girls would love this.

Raising a Happy Child said...

What a great idea for the project. I do agree with your points on the Perfect Nest book - I didn't care for Mrs Bird either. I am sure though that many husbands will find it rather true to life :)

suzy said...

What sweet little nests!
We found a little nest deep inside our overgrown conifer hedge a while back. It is amazing how intricatly the birds weave them with all sorts of bits they find lying around.

By the way, I have an award for you over at my place :)