Looking UP! How to Celebrate Spring with a Bird Party

by Alissa Marquess on April 24, 2012

 

Tweet tweet! All that bird chatter means it’s time to celebrate spring!

After discovering that bird watching is an excellent way to connect with my kids and the nature around us, I got the idea that we would celebrate spring with the birds.

We headed down to my mom’s place so we could have a Bird Party.

How to celebrate spring with a bird party

The Basic Bird Party Plan:

  • Read a story about birds.  We’re really enjoying the Thornton Burgess Animal Stories, so I thought this would be a perfect time to introduce the The Burgess Bird Book for Children, which starts out with a story about birds in springtime.
  • Go on a bird walk. Look for and listen to birds.
  • Make seed treats for the birds.
  • Have our own treat (not made out of birdseed)
  • Play a bird game  We played Chickyboom, but Duck Duck Goose could work too.

Here’s how our bird party played out:

The sunny morning was calling to my kids so rather than reading the story first, we headed outside  intending on heading on a bird walk.

A Game I hadn’t thought of…

The boys headed out the door before me. I got outside and found they had started the party games without me.

Namely, “Lock Your Brother in the Duck Coop” (What?  You haven’t heard of this one?)

Bird Party in Spring

My four year old was locked in the duck coop and his brother was giggling outside the door.  I scolded and went to open the coop door, only to be met by a howl of indignation from the locked-in four year old.

“MAMAaaaa! Don’t open it!! This is a challenge!”

He tried to maneuver the lock from inside the coop with a piece of straw.

Ahh, ok- a challenge.  Without him knowing I helped him unlock the door and, challenge completed, we headed out for a bird walk with Nana.

Taking a Bird Walk

First we examined a couple nests that had fallen near Nana’s house.  She lives near a creek, so the amount of bird life nearby is plentiful.

Bird party nests

We started down the path, but it wasn’t long before we stopped again.

“Hey! Let’s stand quietly and just listen to all the birds!”

It felt good to open our senses and notice the excited chatter of the bird voices in the trees.

Near the barn we found a nest on the ground, then another; the kids were excited.

 

“Look- these two are different!  I think they’re from two different kinds of birds!  I’m going to put mine in a tree and see if a bird comes back to it!”

 

How to celebrate spring

We continued hiking and looking for birds along the way as we made our way to a small pond.

Making a Bird Book

The boys told me that in order for this to be a real bird party, they needed a bird book to keep track of the birds they saw, so I had brought a little blank notebook with us, not sure exactly what we’d put in it.  When we got to the pond I pulled it out of the back pack and immediately Leland wanted me to write down a quote for him.

Leland had me write down what he liked about bird watching (“You can see cool birds and you might get to see a big Blue Heron.”)    James wrote down the birds we saw.  (QUAiL, BLUE hERon, FiNcH)

bird party by the pond

The boys played in the water until I spotted a blue bird which I later learned was a Mexican Jay.  They wanted to get closer…

One toddler, two kids, two grown ups and all three dogs *stealthily* snuck towards the bird.  Not surprisingly our stealth left much to be desired in the way of actual quietness and we wound up observing the jay from a comfortable 20 feet away.

Treats and Snacks

When we got home the kids dug in the dirt and played in the sprinkler while I grabbed our granola bar treats.

I made a quick batch of gelatin birdseed mixture, for the bird treats too.  I gave the boys a chance to help with this.  The next day once they were dry they decorated a tree in our yard with them. (That’s what you can see in the first photo in this post.)

A Bird Game!

We ended our bird party, which really had turned into an entire bird day, by playing Chickyboom.  This is one of our favorite family games, and it just happened to include birds, so it fit our little theme.

 

At bedtime I read to the boys from The Burgess Bird Book for Children.

Leland yawned as I started the story of Jenny Wren.

“Mama, he said.  I think I’m gonna fall asleep.”

“That’s ok, my love.  Thanks for having a bird party with me.”

Burgess Bird Book

 

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jane maynard April 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm

thank you so much for participating in the 9×9! I love your post…so well thought out, I’m sure the kids had a marvelous time. and I love your closing paragraph…lovely. thank you!

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MiaB April 26, 2012 at 6:05 am

Love this idea Alissa!! It’s outdoors, it’s fun, and it’s educational too :) Saw your post over at Daily Buzz Moms!!

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Tricia April 26, 2012 at 7:06 am

This is my kind of party, Alissa! Those flowers on the bush are GORGEOUS!!!! Photos of kids walking down nature paths with giant sticks need to be in every single families photo album, I believe. Photos like that bring joy to look at !

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Brandi April 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

What a fun party!! I love this idea!

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Gina April 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Love this idea! My son is all about birds now. This would be a great tradition to start with him! :)

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Jackie @ Happy Hooligans April 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

This is just the perfect kind of day! I love the “game” they came up with! Haha!

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