Baby Bird Alphabet Game

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I promise this is going to be my last bird-themed post for the time being, after our Koala Crate sparked a whole host of ideas. I’ve been working with Travis lately on recognizing lower case letters, in addition to the upper case ones with which he’s become quite familiar. To make a game of it, we “fed” alphabet worms to a very hungry baby bird!

You’ll need an empty tissue box to put the game together. Either wait until you have an empty one lying around or… let your toddler have what I refer to as a “sacrificial” tissue box – the magic of watching your child play with the tissues as a special treat is worth the waste on rare occasions!

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While Travis played, I cut out a circle and two triangles to be the bird’s head and beak, and 26 little strips of paper for “worms,” adding both the upper and lower case letter to each strip.

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Once the bird was taped in place, I told Travis his baby bird was hungry. He’s familiar with the idea of baby birds eating worms from our summer balcony residents, so latched right on to the game. At first he was just stuffing in the worms, but he slowed down once I asked him which worm his bird was eating.

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It dawned on him that each was labeled, and he was very excited to report what he found. “Big H and tiny h!” he would say, before adding to the box, and so on. He dumped out the box and played several more times before moving on to other toys, and also returned to it later in the day… a sure sign of success.

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Bird Nest Counting

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This little project was so charming. Rather than just teaching toddlers to count by rote, it’s a great way to teach the concept that each number is one greater than the number before.

Roll brown paper snack bags over until you’ve made 5 (or more) little “nests.” Use a sharpie to number the nests 1 through 5 (go higher for preschoolers!). You can use whatever you like or have on hand as the eggs to fill your nests. We used marbles, because Travis loves to play with them, but because marbles are a choking hazard, please use judgment about your own child – pretty rocks or colorful pom poms would also make beautiful “eggs.”

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Now it’s time to fill each nest with the correct number of eggs! Travis gets a little fuzzy when filling containers as high as 4 and 5, but I could see his brain latching on to the concept that the nests with higher numbers required more marbles to be filled correctly.

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As soon as we finished, he said, “let’s do it again!” Dumping the marbles was half the fun, and we played several more times. A great little game with a nice educational component.