From building a birdhouse to playing bird bingo, there are plenty of fun ways to get kids excited about birds and birdwatching!
From a young age, many kids are fascinated by birds! And, with so many people spending more time at home due to the coronavirus, it's a great time to further cultivate that interest. Whether she loves watching birds in the yard or learning about different types of birds through books or games, there are countless ways to enjoy our feathered friends.
To help her get started, in this blog post, we've shared our favorite books about Mighty Girl bird lovers, plus a variety of toys, games, and clothing celebrating birds. For kids interested in birdwatching, we've also recommended a few kid-size binoculars and field guides perfect for young birders!
Mighty Girl Books About Birds and Birdwatching
Birds come in all different shapes, sizes, and yes, colors, too! Leap into the colorful world of birds with this appealing board book that uses different bird species to teach babies and toddlers about colors. Phyllis Limbacher Tildes provides accurate and elegant illustrations of various bird species, from the eastern bluebird and blue jay to the scarlet tanager and northern cardinal, each in their natural habitat. On each spread, you'll find the color word, as well as the names of the bird species, flowers, fruits, and more. It's a celebration of the colors of nature and the beauty of birds.
On a walk with her Abuela, this little girl spots a little injured bird in the snow. The poor thing can't fly, so Abuela carefully picks it up and takes it home to nurture it back to health. For the little girl, the bird becomes just one more special thing at Abuela's house — especially once it's well enough to fly around the room! But Abuela tells her that, now that the bird is strong enough to fly, it belongs outside, not trapped in a cage. Fortunately, wise Abuela knows just what they can do so that they can still see their little feathered friend — while also respecting its need to fly free. With vivid images and simple, resonant text, this book celebrates compassion for all creatures and the power of knowing when the let go.
The little girl in this wordless picture book has a remarkable interaction with a flamingo! Flora's slightly awkward attempts to imitate the graceful flamingo irritate the bird, who squawks angrily, leaving Flora sulking and upset. Fortunately, friendship triumphs in the end as the flamingo urges her to join their dance again — with a grand finale of a cannonball into the pool! Interactive flaps make this book a fun and creative option for story time. For more books featuring Flora and various avian friends, check out Flora and the Penguin, Flora and the Peacocks, and the board book Flora and the Ostrich: An Opposites Book.
In this tenderly funny book, when a little girl meets a lost duckling, it's love at first sight! The pair are soon inseparable, but that doesn't mean there aren't challenges as they clash over midnight feedings, messes, and bathtime. But as both girl and duckling grow, they also grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Parents and children alike will adore this sweet book about growing up and the joys of offering and returning love.
When Robin meets a small red bird she calls Poppy, something amazing happens: each of them recognizes "the light" within the other, connecting them even though they are so different. Instant friends, the pair watch clouds, climb trees, and even share snacks. And then, suddenly, Poppy is gone, leaving Robin with only a feather and memories. When Poppy visits in her dreams, though, Robin magically takes flight alongside her, which provides a lasting reminder that "the light in you will always be part of the light in me." This gentle, metaphorical book about a special relationship with a bird is a reassuring look at friendship and loss. For another book about a grieving bird-loving girl, we recommend Helen's Birds for ages 6 to 8.
Bundled in warm clothes on a cold winter night, a girl and her father go out walking and looking for owls. As Pa calls softly into the night, the pair hope that they will see an owl, but even if they don't, they'll have the pleasure of quiet time together. This winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal takes a simple activity, offered as a special treat — staying up past bedtime! — and turns it into a moment of magic. Quiet, contemplative text from author Jane Yolen and rich, soft illustrations from John Schoenherr combine to bring a sense of majesty and joy to this father-daughter adventure.
Ava loves joining her fellow "citizen scientists" in the annual New England Christmas Bird Count: together, they identify and count all the birds they see. This year, the team's leader, Big Al, even invites Ava to record the tally! Carefully, Ava observes the birds around her — their appearance, their behaviour, and their songs — and applies the birding ID techniques she knows so that she can count each bird along their route. And at the end of the day, there's a Christmas Bird Count party! Exquisite illustrations of birds and tips and tricks for identifying them in the text introduce young readers to birdwatching. For another picture book that celebrates discovering nature near home, including birds, check out The Hike.
Pearl loves watching the birds, so she has three bird feeders to entice them close enough to see. But a squirrel shows up, scaring off the birds and scarfing down all the peanuts she put in her favorite feeder! Pearl vows that this means war: it's girl versus squirrel. No matter how creative her solutions, though (and Pearl admits that a wily adversary prompts plenty of ingenuity) the squirrel keeps winning the day. And when Pearl realizes that the squirrel is a mama squirrel feeding her babies, she decides to concede defeat — and salute the furry mother's determination! This laugh-out-loud story is a celebration of perseverance, empathy, and a love of nature.
Ming-Li loves the sparrows who call from the trees near her home — but her country's leader has declared a "Sparrow War." The birds, he says, eat too much grain, so people all across China are supposed to scare them away. Ming-Li looks on in horror as people from her village set off firecrackers and bang gongs, scaring the sparrows to death... and quietly resolves to save every bird she can, keeping them in a refuge she builds in an abandoned barn. And the next year, when grasshoppers and worms — no longer facing the predation of birds — threaten to damage the crops, Ming-Li is able to save the day with her rescued friends. This fable, based on the real-life Sparrow War of 1958, is a celebration of kindness and of recognizing each creature's place in our world.
A young girl in a medieval castle joins her father, the castle's falconer, as he takes his bird on a daramtic flight. Short quatrains in rhyming verse introduce the falcon, his perch, and important elements of the sport, like the falconer's gloves and bells, while sidebars on each page provide additional information for curious readers. Finally, the girl gets to witness the falcon's remarkable hunting skill as it wheels and dives. An endnote lets readers know more about both ancient and modern falconry for those inspired by this tale of a curious girl and a beautiful bird.
Fans of Calpurnia Tate will be excited to read her latest early chapter book adventure! Callie and Granddaddy are enjoying a row down the river when Callie sees an owl in the water -- that definitely means an animal in trouble. They're able to get the bird in their boat, but the next step is figure out what happened. The owl is clearly sick, but why? This third installment in the Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet early chapter book series features characters from the Newbery Honor book The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.
Olivia Bouler was a budding ornithologist who was horrified to see the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill’s effects on birds. So at the age of 11, she wrote to Audubon and offered to help by contributing her paintings to raise donations. More than 500 paintings later, Olivia had raised over $175,000 for Audubon’s efforts to clean up the spill! This book is full of interesting facts, both about backyard and endangered birds and about Olivia’s campaign to rescue the Gulf birds.
In 12-year-old Aisulu's Mongolian Kazakh community, roles for girls and boys are still sharply divided, but she chafes at the boundaries. When her brother Serik develops a limp that won't go away, her parents take him to a distant hospital, leaving Aisulu with her aunt and uncle — and secretly caring for an orphaned baby eagle, just like the traditional eagle hunters do. Her aunt says that 'there have been women with eagles since ancient days'; Aisulu isn't sure that her father will agree. But when Serik needs expensive treatment, Aisulu hopes that a win at the Eagle Festival will not only pay for his care, but also prove that she deserves to be an eagle hunter. Lyrical and ultimately hopeful, middle grade readers will soar along with Aisulu as she finds her place in her community.
Introduce bird-loving kids to the art of identifying the birds in their backyard with this guide to the birds of North America! This easy to use guide features 300 of the most common birds in the United States and Canada, so new birders won't get overwhelmed trying to spot the bird they're looking for. Each entry includes photographs, illustrations, range maps, typical behaviors and habitat, and more! Plus, you'll also learn general bird-watching tips, fun facts, and other information that's sure to spark a love of nature and our avian friends.
Coo was abandoned as a baby, and has spent ten years being raised by her adoptive family: a flock of pigeons. She's quite happy among the birds... until Burr, the pigeon she loves the most, gets hurt by a hawk. Coo remembers that one human, a retired postal worker named Tully, has cared for injured birds before, and dares to trust her with Burr's life. In time, she even trusts Tully enough to start to exploring the human world. But when someone starts trying to hurt the pigeons she loves, Coo has to figure out how to save them — and whether she can belong in both the bird and human world. This complex and nuanced story about belonging, family, and home is perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo and Barbara O'Connor.
Toys, Games, And Clothing For Bird Lovers
Get ready for a busy day of play and birdwatching with this dress from Frogwill! This 100% cotton jersey dress is colorful and comfortable, perfect for wearing alone or over a pair of bike shorts or leggings. The main fabric features a pattern of cheerful brown, blue, red, and pink birds, while striped fabric on the neckline and pockets makes a fun contrast. Available in sizes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
A colorful applique parrot soars across this striped dress from Eocom! This 100% cotton short-sleeved dress is comfortable to wear and durable enough to hold up to all of her outdoor adventures. The green stripe is a fun background for the vibrant parrot, which features multiple colors and patterns of fabric. This dress is available in toddler sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5T, and kids' sizes 6 and 7 years.
Young bird-lovers will be thrilled with this cozy pair of dresses from Spotted Zebra that includes a bright bird print! These 100% cotton dresses are comfortable to wear and durable enough to hold up for all of her adventures (including a little bird-watching.) The cinch waist makes them easy to fit, and the pockets provide a place for her to keep treasures she finds — or a pair of binoculars! These short-sleeved dresses are available in toddler sizes 2T, 3T, and 4T, and kids' sizes extra-small (4/5) to XXL (14/16).
Learn about a variety of beautiful birds with these heirloom-quality blocks from Uncle Goose! This set of 14 1.75" blocks each feature a different bird, with a full-body image one side and a close-up on the opposite side. The other faces of the block feature Art Nouveau-style letters, two printed and two debossed. And, like all Uncle Goose products, these blocks are made in the US with sustainable Michigan-grown basswood and printed with non-toxic inks.
These binoculars are perfectly designed for little kids! The large focus-free eyepieces and perfect-fit goggles make it easy for kids to line up the binoculars for a good view, while the breakaway neckstrap ensures kids' safety. With 2X magnification, it's still easy for younger kids to connect what they see through the binoculars with what they see unmagnified. Plus, they're built tough, so they can handle being dragged on all your Mighty Girl's outdoor adventures! Older kids can check out the Kidnoculars Extreme, which offer 3X magnification plus audio amplification, for ages 5 to 10.
Imagine the birds living in your backyard with this Backyard Birds Toob from Safari! Toobs are collections of individually painted replicas of animals, all of which are scultped with true-to-life detail. This one celebrates common birds of North America, and includes a woodpecker, an indigo bunting, a robin, an oriole, a warbler, a cardinal, and a blue jay. Whether she's a bird watcher building a diorama or she wants to incorporate the figures into her imaginative play, she'll love these adorable little backyard birds.
Let your budding birdwatcher or outdoor explorer get a close look at the world with this set of shockproof binoculars from Kidwinz! These compact binoculars have rubber eyepieces to protect eyes and faces and a folding design that easily allows kids to adjust the width to their face. The set comes with a cleaning cloth, a neck strap, a carrying case, and a user guide.
Work your memory and build curiosity about the birds you see in your backyard with the Sibley Backyard Birds Matching Game! This set includes 40 sturdy 2 3/8" x 2 3/8" square cards with rounded corners, each featuring artwork by leading ornithologist David Sibley. You'll spot blue jays, sparrows, hummingbirds, and more! It also comes with a colorful storage box. As kids play, they'll also develop concentration and memory skills — and be eager to apply them spotting birds in the great outdoors. For another memory game featuring birds, check out the Bird Memory Tiles for ages 3 to 7.
Welcome birds to your backyard with this kit from Toysmith! This fully assembled wooden birdhouse comes with four paint pots, a 4" paint brush, and a link chain for hanging. Decorate your birdhouse with the included paints, or incorporate colors of your own, to create a perfectly unique base for your garden's feathered friends! This kit is made with safe and high quality materials and FSC Certified wood products, perfect for your environmentally conscious bird-lover. For another fun birdhouse craft kit, check out the Created By Me! Birdhouse for ages 4 and up.
She can track all of the birds she sees with the Bird Log Kids nature journal! This log book by DeAnna Brandt provides kids with information about the names of bird body parts, common terms used by birders, and a log tips page with advice for putting their log to work. Then, kids can head outdoors and fill the 30 log pages, with space for both written and drawn observations, and the 13 photo/art pages, with all of the exciting things they see! It's a great way to promote a love of the outdoors and an interest in the natural world.
Learn about 36 different birds in this highly detailed and challenging 100 piece jigsaw puzzle from Crocodile Creek. From flamingos to peacocks to penguins, this puzzle features a variety of bird species from around the world for young avian enthusiasts to enjoy! It even includes a naming sheet, with each bird named in four different languages, to help you learn about the different birds featured. When assembled, this puzzle is 14" long x 19" high. For two more bird-themed puzzles, check out Mudpuppy's Birds A to Z 500-Piece Puzzle for ages 6 and up.
Celebrate the beauty and diversity of birds from around the world with this game from Laurence King Publishing! 64 bird species make their appearances on these bingo cards; mark them off as you see them appear so you can win. An included leaflet also provides some information — including a few interesting facts — about each bird species. If she's more a fan of insects than birds, check out Bug Bingo!
Bring the beauty of songbirds into your home with this 500-piece family puzzle from Mudpuppy! This Songbirds puzzle is designed to do in a mixed-age group, with thick, glossy pieces that are easy for everyone to hold and handle. Budding birdwatchers will love the colorful images — they'll spot cardinals, sparrows, finches, and more! The completed puzzle is 22" by 22", but it stores disassembled in a handy 8" by 8" by 2" box. Plus, parents will love the eco-friendly materials used in both the puzzle and its packaging!
You can create twelve vibrant, full-color "paintings" of birds — with stickers! — with this book from the Paint by Sticker series. You'll start with a flat black-and-white illustration, but as you match the numbered geometric shape stickers to the correct space on the picture, you'll start to see a cool 3D-style portrait emerge. This book celebrates the beauty of birds with designs including a blue jay, a red-headed woodpecker, a hummingbird, and more. Soothing and fun, this activity book is the perfect choice for bird lovers.
In What Bird Am I? your bird identification skills will get put to the test! This card game from Outset Media features 300 photographs with spectacular close-up photographs of birds from the continental US and Canada, and a series of five clues about the bird's identity. Your goal is to identify the bird species; the fewer clues you need, the more points you win! Three different levels of play ensure that everyone from budding birders to long-time birdwatching buffs can have hours of fun with this game.
Leading ornithologist David Sibley's top reference book, The Sibley Field Guide to Birds, gets transformed into a handy reference deck of flash cards with this set! Inside the pull-drawer gift box you'll find 100 easy-to-reference cards, 50 featuring common Western and Eastern North American birds, and 50 featuring birds found across the continent. Each card provides illustrations of the bird, as well as information about habitat, behavior, voice descriptions, a regional map, and migratory patterns. It's the perfect tool for new and backyard birders!
Welcome to the competitive world of bird enthusiasts! In this engine-building game from Stonemaier Games, you are hoping to build an extraordinary aviary — one that puts your fellow ornithologists and collectors to shame. Each turn, you use action points to add birds, gather food to attract new (and perhaps rare and special) birds, or even have your birds nest and lay eggs. Each habitat fosters a different type of action, so you'll have to balance your choices carefully to ensure you can build the best aviary around. This 1 to 5 player game with exquisite illustrations will delight both gamers and bird lovers, and includes swift-start pack with 4 guides and 10 new cards to make it easier for new players to join in!
Celebrate the world of birds with this gorgeous puzzle from EuroGraphics! This 1000-piece puzzle features a collage of over 100 types of birds. The finished puzzle size is 19.25" x 26.5", allowing you to spot every detail on these colorful, scientifically accurate illustrations. Once you've put the puzzle together, you can test your bird identification skills by naming each of the birds you see! For another biology-themed puzzle, check out the Tree of Life 1000-Piece Puzzle.
Explore 120 of the most common birds of Eastern and Central North America — this puzzle from the New York Puzzle Company has them all, from the majestic Bald Eagle to the elegant Sandhill Crane! This puzzle, made in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, comes with an informational poster and even includes a QR code to download an app with recordings of all the birds' songs and calls. This 1000-piece puzzle is 26.625'' by 19.25'' when complete, perfect for seeing every detail or for working on as a group. For another high-quality puzzle for bird lovers, check out this The World of Birds 1000-Piece Puzzle, also for ages 12 and up.
This gorgeous shirt from the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company is perfect for birdwatchers and anyone else who appreciates the beauty of our feathered friends! The print draws from vintage illustrations of a variety of bird species, with a weathered look that adds to the vintage feel. The premium tri-blend fabric is comfortable to wear and stands up well to washing — and you'll feel good knowing it's designed and made in the USA.