Kids will love studying the birds in their own backyards with this fun backyard birds unit study! It includes books, experiments, and printables!
Doing something like this as a family can be quite rewarding, plus, your kids can hopefully learn something new.
Are you ready for a little winter learning fun? I sure hope so! This time of year is always fun at my house. The birds are exploring our yard, and they’re so fun to watch.
We have some beautiful cardinals, robins, and blue jays that regularly visit our yard. They hop along the deck in our backyard. There’s a woodpecker somewhere in the trees that I love to listen to each afternoon.
Backyard Birds Unit Study
To kick off your unit study about backyard birds, watch the video below. Your kids should recognize a few of these birds such as the cardinal and blue jay. They may have seen some of the others hopping around the yard. If not, they may recognize the bird calls.
After watching the video, your kids should be pretty eager to learn more about the birds in their own backyard. Now’s a great time to pull out the 3-part cards that are included in the Backyard Birds pack I created for this unit study. There are instructions in the printable (get yours below) on how to use them.
Now that your kids are familiar with the birds in this pack, I would fill their book baskets with books about birds. Below, I’ve given you a few suggestions, but there is a book list included in the Backyard Birds pack, as well. It includes over 20 more books.
I love toys like this Backyard Bird Toob by Safari Ltd! I love when kids can get their hands on a toy to bring a lesson to life. These miniature replicas are a great way for kids to put their hands on these birds and observe their characteristics.
They can see the colorings and markings of seven different backyard birds. They are able to notice their unique shapes – some are quite round and chubby while others are sleek and defined. They can see the differences in each bird’s beak which is a great introduction to a discussion on how each beak is designed for a specific purpose – cracking nuts and seeds, pulling worms, boring into trees, etc.
Whenever possible, it’s always beneficial to include hands-on activities in a unit study to take the lessons to another level.
Speaking of hands-on fun, here are some great learning activities for kids to do as they study backyard birds:
• Make backyard bird feeders to attract more birds to observe.
• Many of us are old enough to remember the Exxon oil spill that happened back in the late 80’s. As this blog post from the University of Alabama Birmingham demonstrates, an oil spill can have devastating consequences for the environment. There are also potential implications for local businesses as well as nearby properties. Talk about it with kids, and then do this activity to see how oil spills harm wildlife.
While kids may not be familiar with the Exxon oil spill, there are still dish detergent commercials that reference it so they may have seen images of people washing ducks and water birds. There’s a page in the Backyard Birds pack where kids can record their observations after completing this activity.
• Oftentimes, kids have a hard time understanding how a bird’s hollow bones can support its weight. This activity answers the question “How Strong Are a Bird’s Bones?” There’s a recording page for this activity, as well, in the Backyard Birds pack.
• Read books about birds’ nests. Each bird has a unique nesting style suitable for its needs and the way it lives. Then, head outside to collect nesting materials, and have kids build a bird’s nest of their own. Check out the Backyard Birds pack for a recording page where kids can draw their nests and list all of the materials they used to build it.
• Explore the difference in birds’ beaks. Start by looking at the birds from the Backyard Birds Toob. Kids should be able to notice some differences with these models. Then, talk about how each beak is designed for eating different foods.
Afterward, let kids explore beaks with this fun “Give Me A…Beak“ activity! They can then fill out the corresponding activity page from my Backyard Birds pack
Backyard Birds Printable
This bird unit is probably my favorite so far! I mentioned above a few of the recording pages I created for this unit. They go with the hands-on activities I linked.
There are also 3-part cards, a book list, notebooking pages, and more! The Backyard Birds Unit Study contains 21 pages of bird-learning fun! Don’t miss out.