Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bird Nests


A recent activity of mine was to present science activities that moms could do "right now" with their kids. Nest building, flower dissection, and winter tree identification were my choices. I considered beak adaptations with respect to foraging, but went with nest building instead. This would eliminate a wet mess. Nest building is messy, but not wet.

"N" of GAIN uses a hair clip to simulate a beak. He is making a bird nest as if he were a bird with a long beak. I didn't make him hold the clip up to his mouth. But that is the way a bird's beak is used. It's on their face. I wonder how their vision plays into nest construction.

The pan in front of him has papier mache paste (cooked flour and water in a 1:2 ratio) to stick everything together. It can cook to different moisture levels. The waxed paper contains grass and raffia for him to use in construction. We also had pine needles, fabric scraps, and yarn available. The table serves as a ledge where the nest is built. He has no feet, but could buddy up with someone also wielding hair clips to remedy this.

In the foreground, you'll see a real bird nest made of grass and inner bark. We've had it on our porch for so long that it came "unglued" into a mass of loose material for us to study.

When "I" of GAIN and I did this same activity (independent of each other), we tried to use bundled pencils to simulate grasses or twigs.

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