myNDNA: Early years and childcare activities

View our latest childcare activity guide below, written by early years experts.

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Coronavirus disclaimer - Legislation and policy guidance change regularly. It is the responsibility of the setting to review the latest COVID-19 guidance from the Government when undertaking these top tips.

Birdwatching at nursery

Why not create your own birdwatch event and observe the different species or birds in and around your setting?

Bird on feederLearning aims

  • Identify individual birds 
  • Take part in a group activity
  • Develop a connection with nature.


  • Bird variety sheet
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Pencils
  • Camera (optional)
  • Outdoor space/seating to view birds (or indoor space next to a window).

Activity outline

  1. Print off pictures of common UK garden birds. You can either stick these around your outdoor space where you will be completing your bird watch (don’t forget to laminate or cover with a plastic cover to protect against the weather), or you may choose to print a sheet with a variety of birds on, that you'll find readily available to download online
  2. Create a birdwatching area (if outdoors think about warm clothing and seating)
  3. Display bird images around the observation area for children to reference the birds they see. If you have access to binoculars, then add these to the space
  4. Provide the children with a camera (if available) to take photos of the birds they see (this can be used later to display your results)
  5. Sit with the children to look at the pictures of the birds together and ask children to share their experiences and observations of birds
  6. Determine the time you want to observe for, this could be an all-day activity with children coming and going to observe as they wish or you may decide on a set time with teams of children observing for short periods each
  7. Provide pencils and paper to record the numbers of bird species you observe
  8. Gather the children together to review your results
  9. Identify the number of different species of birds you have observed, which is the most frequent visitor? Which is the least frequent? 
  10. Encourage the children to create a display to show their results, this could incorporate a graph showing the number of each bird they observed, any photos they took of birds or drawings of the birds that children created. 

Extension ideas

  • Think about how you can attract more birds to your area – look at this top tip for some ideas
  • Print off a bird identifier sheet for children to take home and complete with their families, they can watch from a window, sit in a garden or look for birds during a walk in their local area. Encourage parents to return the form so you can discuss the different birds that have been spotted
  • Take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch event.

Special considerations

  • Ensure children are provided with warm clothing to wear during the bird watch.

Useful links

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