Enjoy a Bird Picnic

Kids with basket

Dress up as a bird family and do a variety of bird-themed activities on a picnic.

What You Need

  • Basket
  • Children’s books with bird themes
  • Bird field guides (optional)
  • Blankets
  • Bug and worm-themed toys
  • Camera
  • Headbands and scarves
  • Bug and worm-themed snacks
  • Sunscreen

What You Do

    1. Prepare some bug and worm-themed snacks.
      Let’s start with healthy food options.

      • Spread peanut butter or soy butter on crackers. Use broken pretzels as legs. “Glue” on raisins for eyes with the butters.
      • Make a salad out of shredded carrots and lettuce that looks like a bird’s nest. (Needs link once craft is made)
      • Scoop out melons and serve snacks in them – so they are like little “nests” themselves.
      • Cut sandwiches into strips (for worms) or circles (for bugs).

      For refreshments, the kids can cut out and decorate a flower from craft foam or cardboard. Then push a straw through the middle and they can pretend to be hummingbirds sipping nectar.
      The last items in your picnic basket could be bug and worm themed dessert ideas, such as gummy worms or bug cookies.(Needs link when crafts is made)

      Bug cookies

    2. Pack your basket.
      Many children at this age are like little naturalists, seeking out bug and worm factoids – so you might bring a book or field guide along to keep the conversation going. Here are some bird-themed books we recommend for this age:

      • Bird’s Nests and Eggs
      • Counting Cockatoos
      • Quack and Count
      • Waddle Waddle Waddle, Quack Quack Quack
      • Where Does a Tiger Heron Sleep?

      Other Items to Pack in the Picnic Basket

      • Sunscreen – the weather is so nice!
      • A Picnic Blanket or Two – You could bring extra so the kids have more materials for their “nest.”
      • Bird, worm or bug toys – Would the kids like to bring a few friends to their picnic?
      • Camera – It’s the most important thing because they don’t stay this small forever!Kids reading books
    3. Dress up as birds.
      Do your kids get more excited about an empty cardboard box than the toy that came in it? You can make simple bird costumes using a fluffy scarf or attaching a few fabric or craft feathers to an elastic headband.
      What type of bird does your child want to be? Browse through field guides for ideas.

      • A chickadee? How about a black cap?
      • A cardinal? How about a red scarf?
      • A bluebird? How about a blue sweatshirt?

      If you kids love art projects, they could draw or paint feather shapes on cardboard or paper. Even a little artist can use their finger to make a long skinny shape on paper and add a single line for the feather stalk. They can help cut them out with kid-friendly scissors. You can show them how to make a series of tiny cuts along the edges to give the feather more “fluff.” Cut them out and pin or staple the feathers to hats or headbands.
      A few strokes of face paint (or “magical feathers”) on their cheeks can make them feel transformed.
      A diamond shape folded in half makes a beak. You can attach some string or elastic so they can wear it.

      Kids with basket

    4. Build your nest outside.
      Once you find the perfect spot, take out the blankets. Now at a typical picnic, you might lay that blanket out as flat as possible, but at this picnic, let’s try to make it more like a nest. In other words, let’s bunch it up at the edges to create our own cozy spot. The kids can also walk around the area and gather little twigs to help build the nest.

      Kids building blanket nest

    5. Enjoy your picnic as a bird family.
      Now remember back to your high school drama class, get into that parent bird character and plop yourself right in the middle. Call your little chicks into the nest with you. First they can curl up and pretend they are still in their eggs. You can preen and poke at them a bit, ensuring they are warm. Then the amazing day arrives and they hatch! Oh, the parent bird is so excited! Hello my little chicks – I have been waiting for you for so long!
      If everyone needs to work up an appetite, you could teach them how to fly. Spread your wings, tentatively poke a toe out of the nest, and then slowly take off into the sky. Soaring around your yard or park, try flying in formation, leaping and twirling in the breeze.
      Now it’s time to admire all the bugs and worms you have collected for today’s meal. While people are eating, you might read a bird-themed book.
      What a lovely day for your bird family – connecting with nature and having fun together.

      Familty at picnic