Learning About Birds, part 2

“Art is a place for children to learn to trust their ideas, themselves, and to explore what is possible. ~ Maryann F. Kohl

Welcome to the second blog post about our bird-focused curriculum from January. In this post I want to share with you all the beautiful artistic projects the children created during this period while learning about birds.

When creating our curriculums we try to plan the arts and crafts projects to parallel the current learning theme, as it helps children to connect deeper with the subject we are learning about, practice through art their new knowledge and make it their own.

While we had a variety bird-themed activities as a part of our curriculum, the children were inevitably drawn to playdough (see here our DIY organic playdough recipe we use) over any other project. So we went with the playdough which provides a great variety of activities for children of all ages, offers them plentiful opportunity for creative expression and is great practice for fine motor skills.

Learning new sculpting skills

My mom, who is a tremendous creative force behind many of the school’s craft projects, created this beautiful blue jay (see picture above) out of the playdough as a model for children to be inspired by. We were very impressed to watch how quickly our 4 year olds were learning the new skills. And their birds came out so beautifully, making children feeling very proud and happy!

Every child is an artist

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~ Pablo Picasso

We couldn’t agree more with this quote from Pablo Picasso. It is truly fascinating to see the range of imagination and creativity the children have within them. And how this creativity blossoms further as they acquire new skills, giving them a sense of accomplishment.

Making birds with cookie cutters and then painting them was the favorite activity for most of the kids. Some kids simply cut the birds from playdough with a cookie cutter, while others learned how to add some plumage and other details to their birds as well. It was such a wonderful activity as even the youngest children felt they could make a bird with little or no help, which gave them a sense of pride in their skill.

And as we made playdough birds with cookie cutters we talked about possible bird names for their creations — an osprey or an eagle, a blue jay or a cardinal. It was always very rewarding to hear children naming the birds they never heard of even a week ago and now being very familiar with their shape, habits and appearance!

Playdough bird nests

Another playdough project was making playdough nests for their birds. Originally the nests were meant to be made with other material, but again the playdough was the key to get children interested and involved! Each nest was different, some painted, some with real bird feathers and sticks.

Birds Over Sunset Sky:

A Beautiful Waldorf-Inspired Watercolor Craft

The final art project I wanted to share was a Waldorf-inspired wet-on-wet watercoloring, which is a specialty of our wonderful instructor Milana. This style of painting is a favorite for most of the children as well (you can learn more about this activity here on Bella Luna blog).

To tie it in with our bird learning we provided bird silhouette cutouts that the children could place over their dried watercolor art, creating a stunning picture of birds flying over the sunset sky.

I hope you enjoyed seeing our creations. In the next and last post, I will share with what our school cabin looked like during the bird study. And if you have questions about any of our projects or have some other ideas to share — please leave us a comment!

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