Wildlife in winter

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Consider how wildlife survives during the winter with these creative ideas

Wildlife in winter

1 Birdwatch

Create a graph of winter birds that visit your setting

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

Numbers as Labels and for Counting

Development matters: sometimes match number and quantity correctly (30-50 months); begin to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: count reliably up to ten everyday objects.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Bird food; bird table (optional); outdoor area; large sheet of paper; scissors; ‘Birdwatch’ activity sheet; pens; colourful sticky dots (optional).

What to do

Scatter some bird food on the ground or position a bird table with food on in a suitable area outside your setting, for example, beside a low-level window.

Create a ‘bird-watching area’ inside your setting, using paper to screen the window so that the birds do not get frightened away by the busy activity inside. Carefully cut out a viewing slot in the paper at child’s eye level for the children to watch the birds from behind the screen.

Display the ‘Birdwatch’ activity sheet nearby, which shows four different types of winter bird that might regularly visit your setting. Use this chart to create a simple ‘ongoing’ graph, by inviting the children to place a tick or sticky dot in the numbered boxes above the appropriate bird picture each time it is spotted. Help the children to count the ticks or dots on the chart at regular intervals over several days to find out which birds are seen most often.

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