Nature Sights and Bird Feeders


One day, as the toddlers made their way to the natural playground, they observed a couple little birds flying over the fence and moving from tree to tree around us. The birds provided us with a beautiful little whistle song as they moved around. The toddlers stood excitedly at the base of the trees, pointing upward at the little chickadees, taking in the view and absorbing in all their movements and sweet sounds.

That afternoon, the entire toddler group went for a walk around the outside of the school. After working out their energy and using their gross motor abilities, they made a little stop to the grassy area across the parking lot to collect pinecones. They filled an entire basket with the small round pinecones. The toddlers were so proud that they found so many!

Before long, birdfeeders were being made! We are hoping this will attract more birds to the playground for birdwatching!

Each toddler built on their independence, autonomy and fine motor skills as they embarked on the birdfeeder making process. They picked out their favourite pinecone from the huge selection before rolling it through some goopy, slimy, oily vegetable shortening, a process which many actually enjoyed for the new sensory experience it provided. Of course, the shortening coating their hands as they worked the pinecone through it! Next, bowls of nut free birdseed was provided to each participant. They rolled the shortening covered pinecone through to pick up lots of seed, creating a yummy treat for the birds, and providing yet another tactile experience for the children.

After the feeders dry, the plan is to take them out to hang from the trees, creating more birdwatching experiences!

But after all of this nature exploring- from birds, pinecones, seeds and much loved time outside during these milder days, what would be our next step?

We ended up having many extra pinecones! So....with creative, sensory adoring toddlers, why not use them in a messy, fun, engaging way? Out came the paint in bowls, paper and the pinecones provided as a provocation, scattered across the table. They dipped them and rolled them into the paint, adding unique pinecone made patterns to their papers. The pinecones became their new nature paintbrushes! Then of course, many switched over to finger painting, as they love the sensation of the paint on their hands! It didn't stay on just their fingers for long as it moved to their arms and faces too!

Toddlers are full body learners! They take in the world around them through seeing, touching, and recreating. New experiences happen for them each day, and they explore them to the fullest extent! Wouldn't it be amazing to love learning like a toddler?

From "How does learning happen?" document, under "Engagement",  "Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world  with body, mind and senses."

child holding up their homemade bird feeder

child mixing seeds for their bird feeder