We read a couple of books about birds' nests, yesterday. The first...
...Even an Ostrich Need A Nest by Irene Kelly, is a fanciful, but nonfiction children's books, about how birds from all over the world build their various nests. It's one of those books with illustrations to capture the younger crowd, but filled with enough facts to keep older children reading, too. And, there is a world map at the back of the book, showing where all the birds are from.
Doris L. Mueller's The Best Nest...
...is a fictional legend, explaining why there are so many different types of nest. Apparently, when the world was young, all of the birds noticed how strong, and good the magpie's nest was, so they ask for a lesson. Some of the birds, simply failed to listen to the entire lesson, taking one, or two of the steps away, and building their nests from there.
Because of this, children are taken on a tour of various types of nests, that birds build, in a really easy to remember manner. There is a learning section at the back of the book, which can also be printed out from the publisher's website, here, that offers fun bird facts, bird math, and a bird to nest matching activity.
After we read the stories, A (age 10) announced she was going outside to build her own nest. She was joined by D (age 8), while I went off to assure the Man of the House, that the mud they were making was for educational purposes.
They gathered dirt for mud...
...and various dried grasses, and twigs from around the yard. Ultimately they settled on the dried mint plants, that we haven't cleared out of the garden yet, as their main building materiel.
Although they would have liked to have built their nest in a tree...
...they decided that for a first nest they'd take an easier route, and started by digging a small hollow in a pot of dirt to build their nest around.
Using a small garden trowel in place of a beak, they worked together, A building the nest, and D gathering supplies.
In the end, their nest reminded me of the mourning dove nest from Mueller's book.
"...the male brings sticks to the female to place in the nest. The female builds a careless platform of sticks with little, if any, lining of grass or weeds. The nest is so loosely made that it often falls apart in a storm."
But, they were immensely proud of it. D announced, that he had discovered mud was not only good for mortar, but also for making a soft lining for the nest. A, said she learned the best mud to use, was thoroughly wet, sloshy mud, because it was much easier to work with. Which of course brought us to the thought of how do birds go about making the mud?
By that time it was getting late, and although, thankfully, they had been so intent on the nest, that they really hadn't made any mess with their wet, sloshy mud, it was time to clean-up, for bed.
You can find more story based arts, and crafts for children at this week's stART (story + ART) link-up, at A Mommy's Adventures.
It's great to be a homeschooler.