February 2, 2012


In a moment of guilt filled insanity, I relented and decided that we would make bird's nests. Not the yummy treat kind that my mom makes at Christmas. The kind that birds make. The science book suggests it as an activity. In the middle of winter. They know this will fall in the middle of winter because it's the middle of the science book. Grrr. How about some nice, clean, inside activities about birds? Like watching them as they eat from our bird feeders while we are sipping hot beverages inside?

Armed with bags and winter coats, I wave from the window as the kids tear into trees, bushes, piles of moss...hoping to find just what they need to build a nest. Unfortunately, the sticky stuff (aka mud) wasn't to be found anywhere, as the ground is frozen solid. I had to don my boots and trek into the far reaches of my garden to chip out some soil. I thawed it in the sink with warm water and viola...mud. That went onto the dining room table. Sigh. I stood guard with the vacuum hose, mistakenly thinking that would make clean up easier.

Notice Sally's look of disdain and distance from the table.

Then Sally started screaming about spiders. I hadn't thought about what we might be waking up by digging around outside. That was the end for her, she took her bag, dumped it onto the pie plate and called it a nest. Ella was thrilled with the prospect of finding something alive in her pile, so she began sifting carefully through leaves and bark. She completely forgot about the assignment as soon as she found a roly-poly. I vehemently refused her pleas for, "making it a home in my bedroom."
Inspecting the pile for bugs, Ella suckered Josiah into helping her.

The nests were a partial success, if measured in learning. Nest building is hard, especially considering birds don't have hands. Ours looked beautiful until the kittens discovered them that night.

Coloring a picture of a nest might have been a nice learning experience, too.