I have to admit, I am not great with sticking to preschool or tot school themes. If I see my boys are interested in something, I do activities based on it (which is why we have so many tractor activities!) or if they want to read the same library book over and over, an activity gets planned for it. All this happens at the last minute. I mean, I have a general idea of what our preschool days will hold, and I write out flexible lesson plans each week (see how I plan here), but many times I get inspired by things by the hour. This is one of those activities.
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At our last library trip this book Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert caught my eye and I grabbed it on a whim (I know Lois Ehlert is a great author, so I was kind of excited to read this one since it was new to me). I was happy to see it had cute and accurate illustrations of birds (each labeled for reference), and a fun story of cat trying to catch them for lunch! My boys thought it was funny that the cat wanted to eat birds (they had never heard or experienced that before). I saw it as a perfect opportunity to make a simple sensory tray that was a great extension to the book!
The point of the activity was to help the cat capture some of the birds. The handy scoopers were more there for fun and fine moor practice than for anything related to the story. Both my boys enjoyed digging through the feathers looking for birds!
Exploring the textures of the feathers was my little Hunter’s favorite part of the bin. He didn’t seem all that interested in handing the birds over the the cat. Now my older son, on the other hand…
he was pretty excited to be helping the cat get a satisfying meal 😉 Now this wasn’t as popular as our tractor sensory bins, but the boys did come back to it one other time during the day for another round of bird hunting!
Sidebar: If you don’t have the Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set, you should look into getting them! They make sensory play so much more fun!
After the activity we read through the book once more, using feathers as story props (this was fun!) We used the feathers as word pointers while reading, then we helped hide the birds in the story by covering them with the color matching feathers!
And last we used the bird guide at the back of the book to match our Safari Ltd. birds to. I can now say my boys know a couple new birds from this book and activity!
This book (and these activities) would be perfect if you are planning a preschool bird unit in the spring. Since I am terrible at unit planning, we have it posted here for you now in the fall 🙂 Make sure you pin it for future reference!