Now that October is here, I thought it would be the perfect time to study some typical fall/Halloween animals- and of course being a Harry Potter fan, owls were at the top of my list! They’re such gorgeous birds and are really quite interesting to learn about…did you know they can hear a tiny mouse squeak from 900 feet away?! Y’all. That’s THREE football fields! Mind. Blowing. They also have super soft feathers that allow them to fly in complete silence so they can sneak up on their prey, which is pretty cool. And as most of you know, barn owls hack up pellets of undigestible bones and hair that are a) super gross and b) really interesting to dissect! We even found full out mouse whiskers in ours! So without further adieu- WHO’s ready to learn more about owls?
-Catch a letter: Since owls fly to catch their prey, I thought it would be fun to use this fact to do a letter recognition activity. You can use a stuffed owl like we did, or just have your littles pretend to be an owl. To play, scatter a set of ABC flash cards on the floor. Have your littles take turns swooping in to “catch” a letter. When they bring it back, have them identify it and it’s sound.
-Owl ABC match: I got this owl ABC matching page from Teachers Pay Teachers, printed, laminated and cut it out then gave my littles a lowercase letter at a time to match to the capital letter owls in the trees. We did two trees at a time instead of all 4 so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed.
-F is for feather: Our letter of the week this week is Ff so it was fitting that we make one with feathers!
-ABC practice with an “owl feather”: So you can make a feather quill crazy easily- you just trim a feather with a sturdy end at an angle, make some “ink” by mixing 1/3 water based paint with 2/3 water, dip the feather into the ink and write away! I had my 5 year old use this to practice writing the ABCs.
-All about owl writing: This week’s writing theme was all about owls. Each day I had my little write a fact about owls and illustrate it to make a book.
-Owl book list:
-Owl shape craft: I love shape crafts for teaching the basic shapes to littles! This one is fun because it includes rhombi (please don’t call them diamonds or your little will be confused come 2nd/3rd grade! I used to tell my class- diamonds are rocks, a rhombus is a shape!) and ovals, two my littles are still working on! I got the design from Real Life at Home.
-Flying owl measuring: Give your little a stuffed owl and have them throw it across the room as far as they can. Then work on using a ruler or yard stick to measure how far it “flew”.
-Owl add and color page: I printed this owl add and color page from Teachers Pay Teachers. Then I had my little add the equations. We colored the owl together using the key.
-Owl number ordering: I printed this owl size ordering page from Teachers Pay Teachers, had my little cut out the owl strips, then we worked together to put the numbers in order from least to greatest…that being said I can’t for the life of me find where I got this from! Go figure…here’s another great owl math word problem you can do instead!
-Owls in a tree counting: I gave my toddler 10 owl stickers and my preschooler 20, printed a tree, then had them stick the owls in the tree while counting them.
-Dissect an owl pellet: So I totally did this in 5th grade and thought it was SO cool- I knew my little would dive right in- he did… and even wanted to save all the bones in a baggie when we were done! LoL I thought about gluing them to a page to make a skeleton, but we got a skull that was in pieces so we just explored and identified the bones using the guide as we went. It was still pretty cool! Who knew you could get sanitized owl pellets right on Amazon!? Totally worth the $7!
-What owls eat cut and paste activity: This would be a great one to do before dissecting the owl pellet- but my little was begging to do the pellet all weekend so we ended up doing that first. Long story short, this is a great printable cut and paste activity that reviews what owls like to eat. You just have your little cut the critters out and glue them in the owl’s belly (I did the cutting for my 2 year old as the pieces are super tiny, but he glued them in himself). I got this from Highland Heritage Homeschool.
-Owl life cycle book: I printed these owl life cycle books from Teachers Pay Teachers, put them together and had my littles color them page by page after I read the page to them. Then we practiced reading the books together a few times.
-Owl diagram: I drew an owl on our chart paper then gave my littles sticky notes with the parts written on them and had them identify the parts by sticking them on the owl. Then we discussed how owls are birds and what features let you know an animal is a bird. I wrote their thinking on the chart under the diagram.
-Owl ear demos: Owls have an amazing sense of hearing- like I said in the intro, they can hear a mouse 900 feet away! We did a few hands on activities comparing our ears to owls’ outlined here at Preschool Powol Packets.
-Owl paper tear craft: These came out SO cute! You just have your little tear up some brown paper into bits (great fine motor practice for those younger ones!) then glue the bits into an owl shape. Add a beak, talons and some giant googly eyes and you have one cute hoot owl! I got this from Carrots Are Orange.
-Owlet cotton ball painting: I gave my littles cotton balls pinched with clothespins then showed them how to dab the ball in white paint and then on black paper to make an owlet shape. After they were dry we added eyes, beak and talons to make some fuzzy wuzzy baby owlets! I got this from My Happy Place.
-Owl wood cut outs: I got some cute owl wood decorations for $1 each at Dollar General and had my littles paint them however they liked. I can’t wait to put them out for Halloween after they dry!
-Do-a-dot owl art: This was a fun and easy activity that I even got in on! You just print this owl do-a-dot painting page and let your littles go to town!
-Owl handprint art: This was actually in my plans already, but my 5 year old decided he wanted to make “a handprint owl” while he was painting his wooden cut out. He painted his own hand, did his own print, and added his own details to make it owl-like!
-Owl memory: Note- I printed these on regular paper but I should’ve put a backing on them because they were see through enough that it made the game way too easy! So if you’ve never played, you just turn the cards all face down, then take turns flipping 2 over and trying to find a match. Whoever has the most matches, wins.
-Letter of the week: Ff, each day we do a different activity focused on our letter- introduction/have your little practice it on the chalkboard (or white board), think of words that start with the letter and make a list, workbook letter writing practice, workbook word writing practice.
-Word of the week: as, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, and workpage practice.
-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “Let us not grow weary of doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.
-Character trait of the month: perseverance…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates perseverance I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “Learning larger numbers can be so tricky- I like how you’re showing perseverance and trying your best every time until you get it!”)
- toy owl
- yard stick or ruler
- owl stickers
- owl pellet
- cotton ball
- clothes pin
- do-a-dot markers