Feathered Friends Fun
As summer is winding down and you’re wondering how to plan for the rest of your summer sessions or the new school year, look no further! We have some fun ideas to get your kids engaged and excited for sessions. The best part is, most of these can be continued at home and can be facilitated via teletherapy.
Bird is the word, and kids adore learning about their feathered friends. Not only are there many fictional birds that students may be fans of, many like to watch the real ones out and about. Birds provide a great topic to start with to work on pragmatics.
Beloved birds in books
Take some time to get to know some new bird characters. Ask a librarian for additional suggestions. Many authors use birds as the main characters of their books. The books could be used to talk about social topics, to compare something happening in real life, or to start a conversation about birds in general. Some examples are:
- Calvin Can’t Fly by Jennifer Berne
- Feathers for Phoebe by Rod Clement
- The Ugly Duckling by Jerry Pinkney
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
- Cuckoo by Lois Elhert
Some additional titles that are helpful to explore general information on birds include:
- About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill
- Whose Nest is This? by Heidi Roemer
- Fine Feathered Friends: All About Birds by Tish Rabe
Books offer a wealth of information to teach children about birds. This will help them become comfortable with the vocabulary, be able to describe different birds, and get excited for a bird watching experience. Also, look at local stores for backyard bird information. Many retail stores will carry flashcards about birds that would be a great resource for these sessions.
Bird watching bingo
To prepare for this activity, you will need to make some general bird watching bingo cards. Each of the squares will need a picture that relates to birds. These may be as general or specific as you please. Think about the bird watching area that you will be using when you make several card varieties. A few possibilities to include are robin, egg, nest, maple tree, bird house, cardinal, blue bird, bird seed, flying bird, feather, and sunflower.
These bingo cards may be smaller than a traditional one and could spell BIRD at the top and have three or four rows. Laminate the cards and give everyone dry erase markers to complete this activity.
When holding sessions in the physical school/classroom, head outside of school and play bird watching bingo for a little while. If you are lucky, you will see some birds looking for food in the grass, flying by, or perhaps even building a nest. When someone gets bingo, yell out BIRD and have them explain what they saw. Give details about the different items to encourage confidence when speaking.
When holding sessions via teletherapy, you can play this with 2-3 kids at a time if you send bingo cards to the school or have their teacher attendant or speech assistant create them with your instruction. You can also email the electronic file for school staff to print for the kids. You can show pictures from your shared screen to the kids to check off on their bingo cards and have them repeat what bird it is.
Check in with families at home to see if they would like to play bingo at home. Send home the sheets or email to parents for everyone to try together.