We love all things Spring at the moment, and one of our favorite things to do is watch the birds in our yard picking the worms right out of the ground. Here is a round-up of three hands-on activities themed around birds and worms, which help work on a huge range of skills, including engineering, fine motor development, and building sensory confidence.
Activity 1: Build a Bird’s Nest
This one is so straightforward but wait until you see your child’s face light up when they are told they can play with sticks! Go on a stick hunt around your yard, and as you do so, encourage your child to look up in the trees and look out for any bird’s nests.
Once you have gathered some good sticks, challenge your child to build a nest. This is a great STEM challenge- can your child build a stable nest robust enough to hold the Learning Resources® Jumbo bird? We spoke about how birds make nests and other materials they may choose to use to strengthen their nest and make it more comfortable. We also talked about why they need nests. This led to so much fun discussion and some great questions from my child.
Activity 2: Worm Pecking
As I mentioned earlier, my preschooler loves watching the birds in our yard as they use their beaks to find and peck out worms from the soil. I recreated that scenario with a fun sensory tray. I used brown crinkle paper and pink pipe cleaners in a tray from Target. I also supplied a set of Primary Science® Jumbo Tweezers™, orange of course, just like a bird’s beak.
Both my four-year-old and seven-year-old thought this activity was pretty fun. They carefully found and pecked at the worms until they had them safely in the tray compartments. Once all of the worms had been found, we counted them and then hid them deep down in the ‘dirt,’ ready to play again. If you have a younger child, I would recommend using the Gator Grabber Tweezers™ instead as they are a little easier for small hands to control, which helps avoid frustration and prolong engagement.
Activity 3: Bubbly Bird Bath
A big shout out to @missamys.classroom, who recently shared an enjoyable pet bath activity that inspired this little pretend bird bath idea. I purchased a plastic birdbath from a local pet store and filled it with water. I added a squirt of dish soap and whisked it up with a fork to give it an extra sensory element. I then put out our Jumbo bird, along with a set of Handy Scoopers™ and a Primary Science Jumbo Eyedropper™. I knew my four-year-old would have loads of fun with this invitation to play, and it didn’t disappoint.
She gave the cutest little gasp when she saw the tiny bathtub all set and ready for the bird. She plopped the bird right in and got scrubbing with her fingers. She then decided to use the Handy Scoopers as a ‘bird dipper’ tool, dunking the bird in and out of the water. She also enjoyed using the dropper as a pretend shower head, carefully cleaning all of the bird’s feathers. The miniature birdbaths are excellent because they have a mirror at the bottom, leading to even more sensory exploration. Such fun but straightforward sensory activity; thanks again, @missamys.classroom, for the great idea!
Do you have any favorite birds and worms activities? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below. Happy exploring in the warmer weather!