There are so many different types of birds in the world! Have fun with this theme adding the types you have in your area and introducing your children to some that are not so familiar! This theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Bird Theme Art
Materials Needed: One large and one small paper plate for each child for the head and body of bird (or you can cut out or draw and have the children cut out their own circles); various colors of paint; paintbrushes; scissors; white glue; one 6-inch or so piece of pipe cleaner for each child; feathers; wiggly eyes
The children paint the head and body. When dry, add wiggly eyes and feathers for tail and wings. Use pipe cleaner piece to hang.
Materials Needed: brown lunch bags; newspaper; paper to make eyes and feet and beaks; glue
The children loosely stuff the bags with newspaper. Close the top of the bag (put tops together) and then fold outside corners into middle to make a point at the top, and then fold the point down (the bag now has a flat top, like an owl head shape).
The children cut out their own owl eyes, beaks and feet and glue to bag.
EXTENSION: Provide paint for children to paint their owls before added eyes.
Materials Needed: cone cups (cone shaped); markers; hole punch; yarn
Children decorate their beaks with markers.
Punch holes on each side of opening of cup.
Tie string and have children wear their beaks!
Feathers, Feathers Everywhere!
Materials Needed: Large colorful feathers; lots of small, fluffy, colorful feathers; paint; white glue in shallow trays
The children paint their papers with the paint using the large feathers. When done, they lightly dip a part of the small feathers in the glue and onto their painting.
Materials Needed: Provide one paper plate for each child; string, twigs; grass and other materials you may have for nests; glue
The children glue away!
Bird Theme Block Center Ideas
Add stuffed birds (beanie babies) to the block area!
Bird Theme Circle Time Ideas
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
Bird Calls and Songs
Ask the children if they know how to sound like a bird. Those that do take turns standing up and making their own bird sound or song. You can make suggestions such as a chicken, turkey, baby chick, etc.
When all the children who want a turn have had a turn, have them all make their sounds at the count of 3 together!
EXTENSION: Record each of the sounds and place that recording in the Discovery area for the children to listen to and try to remember which friend made which sound!
Flying Friends Sorting Flannel Board
Make a tree for your flannel board (I made one with branches but no leaves).
Make and laminate birds of different colors. Add a dryer sheet or felt to the back so it will adhere to the flannel board.
Make up a story about birds and the children add the color bird they have when you mention it in the story.
Make up a math game story "2 bluebirds landed in our tree" "1 green one joined the fun".
BOLD Five Little Birds Fingerplay
Five Little Birds in a nest in a tree (hold up one hand)
Are as hungry as can be.
"Tweet" said baby bird number one (wiggle one finger)
Mommy bird promised she would come.
"Tweet, tweet" said baby bird number two (wiggle 2nd finger)
If she doesn't, what shall we do?
"Tweet, tweet, tweet" said baby bird number three (wiggle 3rd finger)
I hope that she can find our tree.
"Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet" said baby bird number four (wiggle 4th finger)
She has never been this late before.
"Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet" said baby bird number five (wiggle 5th finger)
Will our Mommy EVER arrive?
Oooooh! Look! Here she comes to feed her family (use other hand to "fly" to baby bird hand)
And all the baby birds were as happy as could be!
Who is in the Nest?
Have children cover their eyes and remove one child (we had them hide behind a desk that was covered and called the desk a nest).
The children guess who is in the nest!
Little Red Hen
In advance, make or print out character pictures of the characters from this story. After reading the story once, have the children help act it out. Add these pictures to the Library with the book for the children to use later in the day.
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Theme!
CENTER Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Ingredients and Items needed: Yes! Real Eggs! Why not??????
Provide bowls and lots of eggs and let the kids practice cracking open eggs!
This would be a great small group activity--3 children at a time-- so that it is more controlled! Children NEVER get to crack eggs! Ask the parents to each donate a dozen eggs.
Use some of the cracked eggs to make scrambled eggs for a snack.
Be sure that they wash their hands throroughly before and after this activity. And take lots of pictures!
Materials: pretzel sticks, shredded wheat cereal, chocolate chips and jelly beans; cupcake liners
In advance, melt chocolate
The children arrange some pretzels and shredded wheat in the cupcake liners. Drizzle with chocolate. Top with 3 jelly beans and let chocolate harden.
I know coconut is a traditional ingredient for this, however, we had children with tree nut allergies and coconut...you guessed it....is a tree nut.
Bird Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area
Hang LOTS of bird pictures and posters in your dramatic play area. Add safari hats, binoculars, pencils and paper with clipboards and lots of non-fiction bird books (with loads of pictures in them). Hang green and brown streamers from the ceiling to add a tree or forest feel. Play a bird sound CD!
Provide a large cardboard box or serveral smaller ones and bird items such as beaks for the children to wear, string for worms, etc.
Preschool Bird Theme Ideas for your Easel--More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
Provide blue and white paint for the children to paint robin eggs. Add sand to paint for a nice texture!
Bird Theme Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together
Have the children join hands and stand in a circle. The child on one end is the bluebird and he or she weaves in and out of the other childrends arms while singing the Bluebird song:
Bluebird, Bluebird through my window.
Bluebird, Bluebird through my window.
Bluebird, Bluebird through my window.
Who will the next Bluebird be?
This child then goes to the end of the line and the next child is the bluebird.
Duck, Duck, Goose
But of course!!
Let's Get EGG-cited (Ok, lame name but fun game!)
In advance, gather as many plastic eggs as you have children. Place instructions in each egg such as:
Tweet 5 times with a loud voice!
Tweet 5 times with a soft voice!
Flap your wings 3 times.
Jump up and down 10 times.
Place the eggs in a brown basket (the nest!) in the middle of a large circle area.
Each child takes a turn choosing one egg from the nest and opens it to reveal the movement to be acted out.
Bird Story Parachute Game
Tell a story about a bird in an egg. The egg starts to move (gently move parachute up and down)
It breaks out of its shell. (Move the chute all the way up then all the way down)
The baby is trying to fly! It's flapping its wings so, so fast!
You get the picture!
EXTENSION: Have plastic eggs or colored balls to put on the chute and see how long it takes to get them all off the "nest"!
Bird Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom
Book Suggestions for the Library
Are You My Mommy? by Dr. Seuss (MY ALL TIME favorite book!)
Birds by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko
Birdsong by Audrey Wood
Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Have You Seen Birds? by Joanne Oppenheim
In A People House by Dr. Seuss
In My Nest by Sara Gillingham
In My Tree by Sara Gillingham
Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasin
There Is A Bird On Your Head! by Mo Willems
Where do Birds Live? by Betsey Chessen
Bird Theme Activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!
Materials: Variety of shapes and colors for the children to sort by color and size.
Materials: Make a variety of paper eggs. Decorate each egg with a different design (circles, colors, zig zags, etc.). Cut the eggs in half (I used a zig zag shape cut across the middle to make them look cracked).
The children then match the eggs.
VARIATION: Use plastic Easter eggs and decorate with permanant markers. The kids have to match the designs or colors.
Materials: Pipe cleaners and circle oat (Cheerios) cereal (avoid Fruit Loops if you have tree nut allergies in your classroom as fruit loops have coconut in them--a tree nut!)
The children put the cereal onto the pipe cleaners. I had them started for the children by placing one Cheerio on the end of each pipe cleaner and then folding the pipe cleaner end gently around the Cheerio.
When done, fold the other end over the last Cheerio. If they are not too full, you can gently bend this into a "J" shape to hang from a tree branch.
Encourage the children to count the cereal pieces as they add them.
Pipe Cleaner Worms
Provide different colors and shapes of pipe cleaners for the children to manipulate and sort or twist together to make a cool "worm" structure!
Nest Number and Counting Game
In advance, make 5 (or more) nest shapes and 10 or more egg shapes. Glue a different number of eggs on each nest and laminate.
Make birds and number them to match the number of eggs (one bird for each nest) and the children match the correct bird to each nest.
Bird Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
Flying Friends Charades
Play music and have the children move in a way they think the bird you describe would move such as:
I'm big, big, big, with big wings and I fly slowly through the air. I land with a thump!
Of course-- this theme would not be complete without the Chicken Dance! I love Greg and Steve's Chicken Dance Medly!
Birds Theme Activities for the Senses!
Add birdseed, funnels, measuring cups, spoons, small bowls, etc. to your sand table.
Well, why not? Add dirt and night crawlers to the table. I had to limit this to only 2 children at a time so the worms were not disected. Provide spoons, sticks and magnifying glasses for the children to check them out. Also add little bowls for the children to put them in to get a better look.
Make a Nest
Birds make nests by using dirt and spit and twigs.....provide these in your sand table.....ok, NOT THE SPIT! But dirt, spray bottles, twigs, etc. to make some nests!
A teacher once told me that she did this outside her classroom window!
She placed a few plungers into the ground and added water to a few of them and bird seed to the others and they actually had birds come to it all day!
Birds Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!
Provide an actual birds nest and magnifying glasses for the children to use.
Add a note book for the children to "write" their observations on!
This is by far one of the coolest experiments!
You will need 1 egg (still in the shell, uncooked); a clear, glass jar and white vinegar.
Gently pass the egg around for the children to feel. Ask them to describe the shell--how it feels, smells, looks, etc.
Place the egg in the clear jar.
Let the children smell the vinegar then cover the egg with vinegar.
Ask the children what they think will happen to the egg. Write down any guesses.
Within minutes, you will see gas bubbles surrounding the egg shell.
Place it where the children can see it but instruct them to not touch or move the jar.
In about 24 hours, you will be able to see through the egg (the vinegar disintegrates the eggshell!) and you will be able to pick up the egg and it will feel rubbery (Caution--it will pop if you squeeze it....just sayin' from experience!!).
Miscellaneous Activities for Your Preschool Birds Theme!
Neighborhood Walk and Listen
Walk around or sit outside to listen for and see birds!
Visit Audubon Society--Although it may not be possible to visit one, see if someone can visit your center!
Visit a Pet Store
A parent who is a bird enthusiast!
A librarian with some cool bird books and a craft!