Some recent fun with a homemade bird feeder has us talking about birds, the various things they eat, and why some birds’ beaks look very different from others. It was the perfect opportunity to pull out this cute game from our Barefoot Books’ Kids Garden kit!
I recommend gathering all your materials ahead of time so you can lay all of the following items in front of your child at once. Otherwise, there is bound to be some curious exploration and possible trouble! First, you’ll need 4 beaks:
- 1 pair of chopsticks (“Heron Beak”)
- 1 eyedropper (“Hummingbird Beak”)
- 1 slotted spoon (“Pelican Beak”)
- 1 pair of tweezers (“Sparrow Beak”)
Then set out 4 bowls of bird “food:
- 1 plate of unshelled nuts as pretend field mice for the Heron
- 1 tall bottle with a narrow top filled with water as flower nectar for the Hummingbird
- 1 bowl of ping pong balls floating in water as fish in water for the Pelican
- 1 bowl of sesame seeds and grass clippings as seeds in the grass for the Sparrow
I recommend having a towel under your play area, since two of these bird meals involve water! Now let your child experiment with which “beak” is best suited for each food. The ladle and ping pong balls were an easy first guess, and Travis had fun pretending to be the pelican.
The most enjoyable challenge was using the tweezers to grip the grass clippings and sesame. He was very focused on it, and so proud each time he could move some grass or a sesame seed.
The eyedropper was a delight of course, and we talked about the hummingbird’s long narrow beak being well suited to dip inside a flower.
The one that gave us consternation was picking up nuts with the chopsticks. We decided we wouldn’t want to be herons!
From there, Travis had fun mixing and matching his birds. He used the eyedropper in the “pelican’s” big bowl of water, and loved using the slotted spoon to move unshelled nuts from the dry bowl into the bowl of water, then fishing them out with a utensil or his hands.
He also mixed water into his sesame seeds, and found other ways to have fun with the eyedropper (as a spoon etc.), resulting in lots of enjoyment even after the stated purpose of the game was done.
We hope to follow up with some bird watching outside once the weather warms up, paying close attention to the birds’ beaks!