There's nothing like a good game of beanbag toss. . .
. . . except. . .
. . . maybe. . .
. . . a beanbag game. . .
. . . that also helps. . .
. . . you learn about birds!
Bird Toss Ornithology Game
- Scrap fabric
- Needle and thread (or sewing machine if you have one)
- Rice or lentils (for filling the bags)
- Funnel (optional)
- Scrap wood (optional, you could also use a cardboard box)
- Screws or nails (optional)
- Bird silhouettes (this is a great place to find them and learn more about the birds)
When you have your bird silhouettes picked out, print them and cut them out to use as templates for the fabric. Most printer setting will allow you to enlarge the image when you print. The birds should be about 5"-6" across. Conversely, if you or your little ornithologists would like to try your hand and drawing the shapes yourself, you could simply use the silhouettes as a reference guide and scale them as you draw.
Using your paper templates, trace the shapes onto fabric. After this you can cut them out, leaving about 1/4" of fabric outside of the line (you will sew on the line). If you are using patterned fabric make sure you have the right sides of the fabric together before you cut.
Sew along the line leaving about a 1-1/2" gap open along one of the straight sides near the bottom of the bird shape. When you are done sewing, turn them right side out (you may need a bamboo skewer or a chopstick to help you get the narrow parts turned). Fill them with rice or lentils and sew up the openings securely. If you'd like, you could also add a tag with the bird's name on it (or embroider it on, or write it with a fabric marker).
To make the "bird house", I used a few pieces of scrap 2" x 2" screwed together (my box is only 2" deep). The back pieces are slightly taller than the front pieces so that I could make it look a little more like a roof. The size is totally up to you. The larger and deeper the box, the easier the game will be (for younger kids). When I had my box shape I covered the outside of it with lattice strips from the garden section of the hardware store (inexpensive and nice material for a "rustic" finish).
If you're not much of a builder or don't have a saw handy, you could also transform a cardboard box or a shoebox into the "bird house". Just have fun painting it and decorating it.
To secure the bird house to the tree, I tied a knot in the center of a long piece of rope and screwed through the knot to attach it to the back of the wooden box. Then I simply tied it to the tree.
To keep score I used the back side of my Nature Bingo boards and some chalk (but a simple piece of paper and a pencil would do just fine).
With the Kids:
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