Birds are such an amazing and diverse group of animals that reside on land, in the water, and in the sky. There have been over 10,000 different species of birds discovered worldwide so far and there are still more to be seen. It's time to educate your students on the various kinds of birds, their habitats, diets, ways of life, and extraordinary appearances. Here are 15 of our favorite bird-tastic activities to take your kids' attention to the skies!
1. DIY Orange Bird Feeders
There are so many cute backyard bird feeder ideas out there, but this one is our favorite! It uses very little materials and gives your tree a pop of color to invite the birdies in. Ask your students to bring in an orange and after snack time, help them fill their orange peels with birdseed, and use string or yarn to hang in the trees outside the classroom windows.
Learn more: By Stephany Lynn
2. Bird Magazines
Did you know there is an entire collection of bird books out there dedicated to those found in the U.S.A.? The Kids' Guide to Birds has an edition for each state, with images, explanations, and fun facts about all the birds from that area for your little bird nerd to read all year long.
3. Field Guides
Birding can be relaxing on its own, but the really fun part is identifying a bird once you've seen it! Every bird watcher needs a field guide to carry with them on all their bird watching activities. Here is one we recommend, great pictures and material about birds easy for kids to use for reference.
4. Homemade Nature Journal
This DIY field journal can be a fun activity in itself, using recycled cardboard, thick card stock paper, string/yarn, and a hole punch. Your kids can design and make their own unique bird sighting journal to take on their next marathon birding session.
Learn more: Rythms of Play
5. Great Backyard Bird Count
Grab your binoculars and get your students ready to participate in an annual birding event that educates about, counts, and celebrates all the birds in the world! The next one is happening February 17-20, 2023.
Learn more: Bird Count.org
6. Bird Identification Apps
There are a surprising amount of bird apps dedicated to identifying different types of birds and sharing facts and comparisons to help kids learn about the living birds in their area. Make this into a fun birding challenge by seeing if you can name the bird before using the app.
Learn more: iGameMom
7. Identifying Bird Songs and Sounds
8. Bird Scavenger Hunt
Look up the most common birds in your area and print out pictures of each. Give a copy to each of your students and go outside. You can spend hours walking around enjoying nature and looking for the birds on the list. Having a game makes this activity exciting so your kids don't get bored and give up quickly.
Learn more: Inspiration Laboratories
9. Handprint Birds
This fun craft activity brings your imaginary birds to life! Help your kids trace their hand and cut it out to form the bird's body. Then get some craft feathers and glue them to the back for a colorful and unique flying friend.
Learn more: First Palette
10. Bird Beak Experiment
Every species of bird has a beak geared towards its diet and habitat. This experiment uses household tools as stand-ins for bird beaks to test how well they do at picking up various types of bird food. Get creative with the "beaks" you choose (tweezers, chopsticks, etc.) and the foods (rice, nuts, juice, etc.).
Learn more: Blessed Beyond a Doubt
11. Bird Anatomy for Kids
12. Migration Game
This adorable and educational online game is chalked-full of fun facts and cute stories to turn your students into bird nerds in no time. The game requires the player to answer questions about birds to help Wanda the Wood Thrush migrate from Costa Rica to Maryland.
13. DIY Cardboard Binoculars
Most kids won't grow up to become professional bird watchers, so there is no need to invest in expensive binoculars. Kids can have just as much fun making their own and going outside to look in the trees! Grab a toilet paper roll or two and any craft supplies you have to make these cute cardboard binoculars.
Learn more: The Spruce Crafts
14. Bird Bones Experiment
How strong can birds' bones be if they are hollow and light enough to fly? To learn our birding fundamentals let's do this simple experiment using hollow tubes to imitate our bird bones and see if they can hold up a plate of pennies.
Learn more: Education.com
15. Live Bird Cams
Maybe your home or classroom is far away from nature. Here is an activity option for you and your kids! The Cornell Labs website has live bird cams where you can observe birds at risk, birds of prey, water birds, baby birds, and bird parents in their natural habitat. You can learn about different kinds of bird habitats and catch the birding bug from the comfort of the indoors!
Learn more: Cornell Lab Bird Cams