Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5



To have children be able to define birds.

  • To have children identify different bird food for different birds.
  • To have children recognize different bird beaks for different purposes.
  • To have children recognize different bird claws for different purposes.
  • To expose children to some bird calls.

Books : (In kit)

  • Bird Talk by Ann Jonas
  • 3 Peter Field Guides for Young Naturalists:
    • Bizarre Birds
    • Birds of Prey
    • Backyard Birds
  • Everybody’s Everywhere Backyard Bird Book by Klutz Press
  • Make Your Own Birdhouses & Feeders by Robyn Haus
  • Animals In Flight by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Equipment : (In kit)

  • 3 bird masks–penguin, eagle, snowy owl
  • 2 posters–”Interesting facts about Birds”
    “What is a Bird”
  • 1 Rubbermaid Window style Hummingbird feeder
  • 1 Artline Wild Bird window view feeder
  • 1 set of 12 information cards on a yellow ring
  • 1 green tray of peanut delight suet bird food (please keep in bag, but it may be opened)
  • 1 rubber hanging marsh hawk (gray/black)
  • 1 weighted lime green/white weighted bird with clear plastic stand on which the bird’s nose balances
  • 4 bird finger puppets (1 red, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 yellow)
  • 3 bird’s nests on sticks (all man made)
  • 2 “bug’s eyes” viewers (1 red, 1 yellow/blue)
  • 1 red binoculars
  • 3 styrofoam birds (1 red cardinal, 1 white dove, 1 yellow finch)
  • 1 orange hummingbird (not authentic but shows the long bill)
  • 1 cassette: “Songs of Eastern Birds”
  • 4 hard plastic birds (with holes on the bottom) which make some sounds when turned over (not authentic)
  • 2 bird call whistles (1 red, 1 natural)
  • 6 bags bird seed (thistle, mixed, black oil sunflower, millet, safflower, sunflower)
  • 1 box of bird print stamps
  • 1 deck of BIRDS knowledge cards (photographs by Art Wolfe)
  • 5 bags of feathers (pale colors, peacock, white, longduck, almond pheasant)

Bookmarks : (In kit)

Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF and JPEG copies are available here.

  • PDF – 4 bookmarks per page. Ready to print in color.
  • JPG – single high quality jpeg image.


  • Objectives
    • To have children be able to define birds.To have children identify different bird food for different birds.
    • To have children recognize different bird beaks for different purposes.
    • To have children recognize different bird claws for different purposes.
    • To expose children to some bird calls.
  • Introduction
    • What is a bird? It is an animal with feathers, beak, wings, two legs and usually 4 toes. It is warm blooded and hatches from an egg. There are 645 species of birds.
    • All birds have feathers and wings, but not all can fly. Can you think of one that doesn’t fly? (Penguin)
    • What do birds eat? (seeds, worms, bugs, bread, fish …)
    • Why do different birds eat different things?
      • Depends on kind of bird and location
      • Seagulls and penguins eat fish
      • Owls are predatory and eat mice and small mammals using sharp claws and beak.
      • Woodpeckers eat bugs in trees when pecking
      • Robins dig in ground and eat worms
      • Cardinals fly more and eat seeds (love sunflower seeds)
  • Program
    • Vision – Pass around the eyeglasses to give some idea of how a bird sees things. Most birds have monocular vision with fixed eyes that can’t move; hunting birds have binocular vision. Think of an owl with both eyes working together so he can locate and catch a moving rabbit. Seed eaters don’t worry about the food running away from them.
      • Necks – Since their eyes don’t move, they compensate by moving their heads frequently. Birds have 15 bones in their necks to allow for frequent motion. Mammals, including humans and giraffes have just 7 bones in their necks and fewer muscles.
    • What is different about a bird than a person?
      • Feathers – Pass around different kinds of the feathers to feel and see how they can spread apart and then recover. Hummingbirds have 1000 feathers; swans have 25,000 feathers. Molting — at least once each year, a bird replaces all of its feathers.
      • Wings – Use posters and birds to show different kinds of wings from the useless penguin ones to the very broad spread owl ones. Their bones are hollow, making them much lighter than they appear. Some non-fliers like the ostrich can run very fast – up to 30 mph.
      • Beaks – Used for eating, cleaning and building nests. (Do we use our mouths for as many things? How many of you bite your nails or suck thumbs instead of just eating with your mouth?) Again look at posters and birds to see different beaks and guess what each would eat. A duck’s bill wouldn’t be good for chewing a mouse, nor would its webbed feet be good for holding one. Compare to owl’s sharp beak and claws.
      • Claws or feet – not just for walking, but also for holding objects, thus often clawed. May be webbed like a duck to move in water and swim. Look at stamps and try to identify the “foot” prints.
    • Listen to tape to hear sounds of different birds. Most are not common to the children, but are clearly identified both on the tape and with information in accompanying booklet.
    • Look at the different kinds of bird seeds so they can see different sizes, kinds, and textures for different sizes and kinds of birds.
    • Explore and let children try out things for themselves.
  • General
    • The children enjoy stamping the stamps on paper.
    • The “bug’s (or bird’s) eyes” viewers are popular.
    • Many children know facts about the fastest, largest, or other superlatives and want to learn more.
    • If time allows with the loan of the kit, try hanging a bird feeder for several days outside your room. The children love to watch the birds come. If it is successful, be sure to get one of your own as soon as possible so your feeding birds don’t get lost. Simple ones of milk carton, coffee cans or similar containers work well. Checking the feeder for adequate food can become a classroom helper job. Remember, that birds you feed in the winter or other times, are there to eat mosquitoes in the summer!


Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

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