Wings and Nests

We have has so much fun “Down at the Pond” this month, but soon we will be shifting our focus to the sky… “Birds and Eggs” is the theme for April and we are very excited about this unit. In preparation, we decided it would be fun to spruce up our cozy reading corner and combine it with dramatic play. This means we need a nest, of course!

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We used a small hard-sided kiddie pool and filled it with the pillows that have always been in our reading corner. Then we used a fitted Twin-sized sheet to cover our nest, tucking in the extra underneath.

Next, it was time to make some wings!

The pictures loaded in reverse order, so scroll down to the end to see how to begin (sorry!)

Blue Jay
Bald Eagle
The inside of the wings becomes a little quilted. We will use puff paint to write the names of each bird on the inside of the wing.


Time to fly!
Stitch a loop of elastic to create the handles.
Sew a strip of elastic to each wing which will keep the pair together.
Overlap the feathers at the top of the neck.
Place, glue and stitch one row of feathers at a time, overlapping the row before.
The stitching on the inside of the wing will create a quilted effect.
Stitch the feathers in a row to the wing piece.
Begin placing the feathers at the center edge of each wing, overlapping in the same direction. I used hot glue to tack the feathers in place quickly.
Lay our the edged wing pieces with the stitching side up, so the feathers will cover the turned edge and the inside of the wing will be finished.
Cut Feather shapes out of felt, mostly the bigger size and then a few smaller feathers for around the neck.
Add Feathers to this side of the wing
Turn under and stitch the two straight sides of the wing, and simply stitch the curved edge to prevent fraying.
Lay out wings
Make a paper pattern for the wings. Fold fabric in half and cut (2) wings
Measure from base of neck to tail, and wingspan



Pond Models

17191359_1318042994953330_8651053450306257687_nThis month, we are having so much fun playing Down at the Pond!17203119_1318042984953331_898567106711839977_n


Our Sensory Table has water, marbles, stones, and creatures hiding among the lilly pads (green foam). The tiny frogs can sit on the floating lilly pads and sometimes they like to jump and splash. We have heard children sorting and counting the different items and coming up with wonderful stories.

17192065_1318089701615326_8598662087242525072_o On Day 9 (Floating Pond Plants) we created our very own tiny ponds. The children were given the materials of brown and green sand, pebbles, and water, and the results were quite amazing. It really looks like a pond! After discussing Sink/Float, it was so fun to see how some materials sunk to the bottom, while others floated on the surface, just like in real life.


Float or Sink? Salt Water or Fresh Water?

What sinks? What floats? What is salt water and where do we find it? What effect does salt water have on objects? What happens when Fresh and Salt water meet?

On a very rainy March morning, we decided to tackle these good questions! On Day 9 of the Mother Goose Time unit, “Down at the Pond”, we were learning all about Floating Pond Plants. We set up a simple Sink/Float station, and then took it a step further for our older friends. Would the introduction of Salt to the water change the results? In both measuring cups we had 1 2/3 cup fresh water. We added 1/3 cup of salt to one of the measuring cups and stirred until it was dissolved. Then we tested each item, first in the fresh water and then the salty to see if the results were the same or different.17156142_1318067818284181_379047564054723541_n Then we moved on to the egg test. First we made a hypothesis, based on the Sink/Float station, about what we thought would happen to the egg placed in the fresh water versus the egg in the salt water.  The measurements of water and salt were the same as before. The egg placed in the fresh water sunk, and the eggs placed in the salt water floated!

17103794_1318067801617516_4128197596339231014_nNow, what happens when Fresh water and Salt water meet? Our Preschool and Pre-K friends have been learning all about the Water cycle and different bodies of water during our Pond unit. Rivers and Streams flow to the ocean as part of the water cycle. We started out with the same measurements, but this time we added some food coloring and used an eye-dropper to slowly add salt water to the fresh. The Salt water sunk to the bottom, or maybe it made the fresh water float. (The separation was very slow, which is hard for preschool, so we left it sitting on the counter and we will revisit later, but this photo is mid-process.)


Most kids enjoy science, but a number of our students learn best through these types of activities. They really need to test their theories and see what happens, in order to make the connection. These experiments were a fun way to demonstrate the differences between salt and fresh water properties and it was a great expansion to the Sink or Float activity from Day 9.

*Experiment ideas courtesy of Little Bins for Little Hands