Earlier in the week, Aaron and Tabitha found a bird nest in their grandparents’ garden. It is currently displayed on our table, along with a magnifying glass to examine it closely. We looked through our reference books to find some information and pictures of nests.
I asked Aaron what he knew about bird nests.
“They are round and they are made of mud and twigs and lots of different kind of things. They are made of sellotape and anything which is on the ground.”
“They are on top of trees and the mud might be on the bottom of the twigs, and there might be some mud on the tree which makes it stick.”
“When the little birds hatch, the mummy looks after them and the daddy looks for some food. The daddy bird feeds them worms.”
“When the baby birds hatch, they get bigger and bigger and then they don’t need the nest anymore because they can fly.”
This morning we mixed up some different shades of green and brown paint for an observational painting. I’ve been re-reading “Bringing Reggio Emilia Home” by Louise Boyd Cadwell recently, and was particularly struck by a section which spoke about presenting children with gradations of colour to offer them more possibilities.
Aaron started with a round shape and twigs poking out. He added some eggs inside the nest.
Next he painted some green leaves on the twigs, birds flying in the sky and a baby bird inside the nest.
In the bottom left corner he painted a tree branch with a hole in it.
Tabitha started off with a vaguely circular shape but soon used the different colours to cover her entire sheet of paper.
This afternoon we made some 3D representations of the nest out of air-drying clay.
The children are used to working with playdough so they initially found the clay much harder to manipulate. It became more malleable after being kneaded for a few minutes and they soon mastered the pinch pot technique.
They discovered that spraying their hands with water made the clay more pliable and allowed them to join cracks or smooth the surface of the clay.
This was the first time Tabitha has worked with clay and only the second time for Aaron. They both really enjoyed it and are eager to get the clay out again.
Over the next few days we will continue to investigate our bird nest. I’m excited to find out where this project will take us!