Back in what feels like another life young me went on quite possibly one of the weirdest job interviews ever, got the job, and literally started 24 hours later teaching 5th grade in Brooklyn. I’m pretty sure she would have had to start that day if I hadn’t had to go home for my babysitter. Anyhoo, delving into those years of employment would require an entire blog of its own, and maybe state mandated therapy. The point of all this is to say: whilst the job had some truly horrific moments, like the day we found a goat outside a falafel factory next to the playground, it gave me some of the VERY best people I know. Enter my friend Jackie. Quite possible the most organized educator the NY department of education has to offer. She knows everything about everything, personally raises thousands of dollars for her students to have additional resources and equipment. She has a login for every single educational website the world wide web has to offer. You can mutter words of a book and she’ll give you the F&P level and the lexile. Tl;Dr? – She’s the freaking best. HOWEVER she absolutely hates birds. I mean loathes them. Sadly I won’t be going to her this week for resources, because enter stage left, our new theme: BIRDS!
This entire theme came about because we have a birds nest in the garden, and the kids have spent a huge amount of time wondering what sort of bird made it, how many eggs are in it, when the eggs will hatch, if maybe there is a teeny tiny chance its a velociraptor, etc etc etc. Hopefully by the end of this week they’ll be a little more educated, and less likely to ask if a dinosaur is going to be birthed in our garden….
Todays craft was cute. We made birds in cages out of paper. There were a couple of parts that the boys struggled with, and some tips I learned a long the way that I would absolutely do if we ever do this again. Most importantly: I honest belief tape is just SO much more versatile and useful when crafting with kids than glue. I know we have hella time until Christmas rolls round again, but lets all try and remember that on Dec 26th Walmart is literally full of tubs of scotch tape of clearance. Stock of friends!
For where you need to add the paper fastener for the top of the bird cage, don’t just snip a slit with scissors like me. It doesn’t work. Use something that makes a hole not a slit. I couldn’t find my hole punch, I frankly didn’t look that hard because I convinced the hole it would make would be too big for the paper fastener anyway. I regret this. I regret it all. Prime a hole punch. Find an alternative. Use a kitchen skewer. Just don’t be me.
Final tip: I’m sure there are links to all sorts of bird templates all over the place on the internet that will print double sided so you can color both sides. However if you can’t find one here’s my tip. Google whatever specific bird coloring picture you want to print. Screenshot it on your phone. Then print it. Then you can go into photos on your phone and just flip the image and print it again. Yes yes yes you’ll have to glue the two pieces together, but it’s a minor inconvenience.
For the craft you will need
- Printer to print the bird template
- Markers to color in the birds
- paper to make bird cage out of (patterned is cute, but completely not necessary)
- Glue or tape
- Paper fastener
- String or thread to suspend the bird
Teddy absolutely adored coloring his paper birds in today. He is still very deeply entrenched in his anal neat stage (maybe this isn’t a stage!! Maybe we finally have a neat Truffles!) which means that coloring two 4×6 paper birds took him a considerable amount of time. He chatted to us, and his birds whilst he colored though, and muttered a lot under his breath about how he wanted to go to pre K. Soon little boy. Soon! He also insisted on putting his own split pin into the little holes I had cut with the scissors. He loves tiny tasks, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that it won’t be too long until the line of craft attainment and age is no longer linear around here.
It turned out taping the “bars” of the cage to the circle at the bottom was a little more than the boys could manage. So whilst I basically took over this part of the activity the boys ran circles round the house with their birds. Apparently Teddy’s bird was half a “cheetah parrot and half a bird who had eaten too many blueberries.” His parrots entire goal on this planet appeared to be to capture, and destroy William’s parrot. Sometimes I really have SO many thoughts about how two boys, born quite close together, with the same parents and home, can be so incredibly different. Pictures of the completed crafts below!
William started his academic week with a really fabulous Read Works article about birds. He’s been reading so well recently, and it’s so nice to hear him using proper expression as he reads. I’m trying desperately to ween him off so much non fiction, but it’s a constantly battle I start following through on, then give up on. This June! That’s the plan. He’s turning six and I’m going on a major fiction push. We’ll see how long it lasts this time! Whilst he worked Arthur sat on the floor and threw things around. He’s being extra specially challenging recently. I hope it’s teething and not a personality shift to major pushing of boundaries, add that to the list of things to investigate this June.
For Teddy’s activity we fell back on a classic clothes pin activity. Whilst I was online looking for resources for the week I found an absolute treasure trove of printables (linked them below). This pdf has pages of activities for a pre k-k student. I chose to print the card sets where you had to choose the beginning sound in one set, and count the leaves in the other. They were cute. Teddy had to talk through the pictures for the beginning sounds with me, as it wasn’t immediately clear, so just a heads up that for the younger crowd this isn’t a set and leave activity. They’ll need a little help.
I really love clothes pin activities for any age. I think everyone can do with the fine motor skills they help with, and the convenience of being able to pull the pins off afterwards, and have the cards be used again and again is magic. Love a sustainable resource. That’s a wrap for today’s dip into the world of birds. I think this week is going to be our 3rd week in a row with only 4 days of activities. This evening we got a very exciting package delivered from my parents in law, and I have a feeling tomorrow it is going to be almost impossible to get the boys to concentrate on school work. William has online school until 12, and then the afternoon will be filled with playing with the spoils from Grandma. I’ll catch you all on Wednesday. I’m dreaming up some kind of egg nest activity, see you then!
LINKS AND SOURCES TO RESOURCES