Books to Help You Teach Art in Your Homeschool Without Any Talent

There are fewer things as daunting in homeschooling than teaching subjects you are not good at. In my experience, art and math seem to be the two biggest struggles for homeschool parents. I’m not touching on math today, but I think I can help you with the art thing a bit.

Art is really a fun subject and one that most kids really get into. Below is a big list of books to help you teach art in your homeschool either by simply adding it to your other subjects or giving it its own space. But first, a little pep talk from me:

Art is not an exact science like chemistry. You are not going to make something explode when you get something “wrong”. In fact, mistakes can often make a piece of art more interesting. Here’s the thing, your kid doesn’t care if you are a great artist. The whole point of this list isn’t to make promises of turning you into a great artist who can then teach your child art.

Nope.

The point of this post is to provide you with some resources so you and your child can explore art together. Art is a great way to relax and explore your creative brain (no matter how little you think you have…) while creating memories with your child.

So get out there and create some art with your child!

End pep talk.

Right now I have a list of books to help you teach art in your homeschool…talent optional.

How to Teach Art in Your Homeschool When You Have No Talent!

Books to Help You Teach Art in Your Homeschool (Talent Optional)

Arty Facts: Weather & Art Activities by Janet Sacks – Combining science lessons with a specific art project, this one is a good choice for older preschoolers and early elementary students. There are some really great projects in here and a good chunk of them use recycled materials.

The Jumbo Book of Outdoor Art written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher – This book is written to kids, but to use it that way, you would likely need older elementary students. Add a parent to the mix and you have some fun projects for preschoolers. Great for nature studies.

The Kids’ Multicultural Art Book: Art & Craft Experiences from Around the World by Alexandra M. Terzian – Organized by continent, this book would make a great reference book to have on your homeschool shelves. As you cover topics in history or geography, you can pair a coordinating art project. I’m a fan of the two-birds-with-one-stone homeschooling philosophy.

Storybook Art: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of 100 Great Picture Book Illustrators by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter – The charts at the beginning of this book make finding just the right project very easy. You can easily choose activities based on experience level, preparation time, or technique with all the icons they detail. There is a chart of contents that lists all the books, authors, projects, style, etc. I’d say this fits in with literature or reading, however you classify reading picture books to preschoolers in your homeschool.

Art is Every Day: Activities for the Home, Park, Museum, and City by Eileen S. Prince – There are 65 projects in this book. This book could be used for middle or high school students to study some art concepts independently, but I’m including it here mostly for you parents, particularly those who feel you do not know anything about art. You read the chapters and then do the projects with your kids. This falls into the fine art or simply art subject category.

Cool Flexagon Art: Creative Activities That Make Math & Science Fun for Kids! by Anders Hanson and Elissa Mann – These projects would be great for upper elementary students. These projects focus on geometry.

Cool String Art: Creative Activities that Make Math & Science Fun for Kids! by Anders Hanson and Elissa Mann – Find projects that will fit with geometry and astronomy lessons. Another great option for elementary students and bringing art into other subjects.

Modern Art Adventures: 36 Creative, Hands-On Projects Inspired by Artists from Money to Banksy by Maja Pitamic and Jill Laidlaw – I’m a big fan of books that  tell you how to use them, give me clear, concise instructions any day and I’m happy. This book includes a bit of art history and I would say you could use it with just about any age in your homeschool.

Art for All Seasons: 40 Creative Mixed Media Adventures for Children Inspired by Nature and Contemporary Artists by Susan Schwake – As you would guess, this book’s projects are divided up by season. In addition to the projects, there is a section on materials and one on creating an art space. A lot of these projects would pair nicely with nature studies.

Art Stamping: Using Everyday Objects by Bernadette Cuxart – Part of a series of books written to be used directly by kids to explore art. This book focuses on stamping with objects like sponges, leaves, q-tips, and bubble wrap.

Art Painting With Different Tools by Bernadette Cuxart – These fun art projects are made with sponges, straws, cotton balls, and even homemade brushes. A total of 16 projects are included.

Art Painting On Everyday Items by Bernadette Cuxart – Paper is not the only thing that you paint on with this book. Aluminum foil, sandpaper, rocks, and bottle caps are just a few of the everyday, but not typical canvases used in these art projects.

Art Painting With Everyday Materials by Bernadette Cuxart – Have fun painting with chalk and salt, paint and soap, and even coffee with the art projects in this book. This series is a great fit for elementary students, especially those who may want to work more independently.

My Art Book: Amazing Art Projects Inspired By Masterpieces by DK Publishing – A great start into art history, it covers a lot of styles, mediums, and artists. Each has a famous piece of art with history on the style, artist, and other details. Then there is a project to complete for each piece. A total of 14 projects, great for all ages.

The Big Book of Art Draw! Paint! Create! An Adventurous Journey Into the Wild & Wonderful World of Art! by Walter Foster Jr. – I just love this book. It makes a great companion book for the Big Book of Color book I’ve mentioned before. I will likely use both of these with my little guy for his PreK year. This art book works best for preschool to early elementary aged students.

My Art Class by Nellie Shepherd – A fun book of art projects for toddlers and preschoolers. Beware, the projects and age range will likely create a mess, but just remember that is part of the process and maybe throw a tarp down.

My Animal Art Class by Nellie Shepherd – Ditto for these fun art projects and age bracket.

Get Into Art Animals: Discover Great Art and Create Your Own by Susie Brooks – Explore animals in art with this book and the included art projects. Each of the 13 works of art have a corresponding project. Great for kids of all ages.

Get Into Art People but Susie Brooks – Another in the Get Into Art series, this book explores the various ways people are portrayed in art.

Get Into Art Places by Susie Brooks – Yep, same series. This time we are exploring places like bedrooms and landscapes…and making projects like the famous art included.

Get Into Art Telling Stories by Susie Brooks – The final book from this series (at least that I perused) explores how art can tell stories.

Art Workshops for Children by Hervé Tullet – I’ve become a fan of Tullet’s books, so has my preschooler. This book is for adults though. Tullet will teach you how to lead an art workshop (or lesson or co-op class) for children. The information is great, the projects fun. The photos at the end of the book of real-life art workshops is a great look through, too.

The School of Art: Learn How to Make Great Art With 40 Simple Lessons by Teal Triggs, illustrated by Daniel Frost – This book could be used by parents to teach or it could be used independently by middle school students and up. The lessons are simple, but lay a great foundation for budding artists.

That’s the list for now! We got books this time, in the future I’ll put together lists of other resources to help you with art. It is a fun subject, if you let it be!

You may also be interested in these other art posts I wrote:

Kid-Made Washi Tape Ornament – Inspired by Paris: A Book of Shapes

My kids love to be crafty. Some more so than others, but occasionally I will hit on a project that they will sit and do for hours. These simple ornaments were just that for two of my four. The third is planning to make hers tomorrow. The fourth isn’t very interested at this point, I need to find some Minecraft washi tape or something.

This project came around when I joined up with the fabulous Melissa of Mama Miss and a LOT of the Kid Blogger Network bloggers to bring the kid made ornaments blog hop to life again. This has become an annual tradition that is a lot of fun. Last year, we made snowflakes.

This year, with Oliver being really into reading and having had the chance to see a lot of fun board books this year, I chose the book Paris: A Book of Shapes. It is part of a series of board books called Hello World and they are just the best little books. Such lovely illustrations and typography. Each book covers a concept like numbers, colors, or shapes.

Kid Made Washi Tape Ornaments - Inspired by the board book Paris: A Book of Shapes

Kid Made Washi Tape Ornament

This is another one of those simple craft projects that is only limited by your selection of washi tape. So consider this an enabler alert when I tell you to go ahead and stock up. 😉 You will have plenty of options for projects by the time I’m finished playing with mine so it won’t go to waste.

The steps for this were easy. We cut out shapes we found in the book from cardstock. The older kids cut their own shapes, I cut the one for my young preschooler. Then I let them go to town decorating their shapes with the washi tape.

Kid Made Washi Tape Ornaments - Inspired by the board book Paris: A Book of Shapes

My little guy is getting the hang of this crafting thing. The last time we did a washi tape project, he put somewhere around a pound of washi on his bookmark. It’s more of a display piece than a bookmark.

After we made the ones I needed to take a picture of, my little guy proceeded to craft for a good long time. This little guy likes to be busy and he likes to be independent. These ornaments are perfect for it. There is very little that he needs me to do for him (tying the knot mostly).

Once they were finished, we punched a hole in the shape and strung some pretty baker’s twine type string through it. We tied a knot to make a loop and voila! We had a super cute, super easy kid-made washi tape ornament. I think they turned out pretty great. How about you?

Kid Made Washi Tape Ornaments - Inspired by the board book Paris: A Book of Shapes

Kid Made Washi Tape Ornaments - Inspired by the board book Paris: A Book of Shapes

Oliver’s ornament. See? Note the impressive lack of washi tape weight. ;)

More Kid-Made Ornaments!

10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas

Be sure to check out the awesome series. Melissa is doing a weekly wrap up, but there are 10 bloggers each day sharing a kid-made, book-inspired ornament. This is a great way to add some seasonal themed projects to your homeschooling this year.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers participating in the first day with me:

10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas


More Books About Birds

Remember when I said I had even more bird books on the way from the library? Well, now you get to hear more about them. We enjoyed these, too. I think we will be moving on to another subject though. Mama would like to read about something new.

Books About Birds - A book list all about birds!

More Books About Birds

You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet – A sweet storyline and pretty illustrations made this book one my snuggle-bug of a 9-year-old enjoy. The story shows various birds and how they nest.

Nest by Jorey Hurley – This lovely picture book features softer illustrations with one word on each two-page spread. You follow the life cycle of a robin in the pictures. This is a great one to read with toddlers and younger preschoolers. You can explore the book with little “required” reading, which means you can flip as fast or as slow as your lap-sitter desires.

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, Illustrated by Steve Jenkins – Bird facts go along with the rhyming verse of the book. Brightly colored illustrations make it an eye-catcher.

Whose Nest is This? by Heidi Bee Roemer, Illustrated by Connie McLennan – Not all the nests in this book are bird nests, but it is a fun book featuring many birds. The book gives a little description of a nest and then asks the question “Whose nest is this?” before giving the answer. My 9-year-old liked reading this one with me, too.

Cradles in the Trees: The Story of Bird Nests by Patricia Brennan Demuth, Illustrated by Suzanne Barnes – A fun look at all the amazing ways birds build nests. Told in engaging text.

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen – I really liked this one, but I’m particularly fond of bird feathers. They are so exquisitely designed. The illustrations have a fun scrapbook feel to them.

What Makes a Bird A BIRD? by May Garelick – This is an oldie, but goodie. The illustrations have a vintage feel to them…because the book was written in 1969. It’s quite lovely. I think my favorite part of this library find is the old check out pocket in the back of it. I remember checking books out with that system. Good times. (Note: The cover shown above is different from the one I got at our library. The book has apparently been reprinted.)

A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins, Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell – This follows a little family of robins, but features other kinds of birds, too. The colorful pictures with preschoolers kept my preschooler engaged.

Backyard Bird Photography: How to Attract Birds to Your Home and Create Beautiful Photographs by Mathew Tekulsky – Ok, you can probably see that this one is not for preschoolers. This is a great one if you have older kids, like middle to high school, with a penchant for photography. Actually though, preschoolers will probably really like looking at the photos in this book, they are beautiful.

Feathers: Poems About Birds by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Lisa McCue – I love the illustrations of this one, she captures the lovely vibrant colors that makes birds so lovely to me. The poems are fun, too.

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist by Margarita Engle, Illustrated by Aliona Bereghici – Told in a series of poems, this beautiful book is about Louis Fuertes, who is known as the Father of Modern Bird Art. This is a gorgeous picture book.

A-Z of Bird Portraits: An Illustrated Guide to Painting Beautiful Birds in Acrylics by Andrew Forkner – Another book for teens, this is a very thorough guide to painting birds. It gives detailed instructions for 27 different birds. This would make a great homeschool art class for high schoolers.

So there you have it, the last list of books about birds for a while here on the blog. I hope you enjoy these books as much as our homeschool has!

Related Posts:

Bird Unit Study for PreschoolB is for Bird - a book list and free printable for Alphabet Activities for All Ages at Vicki-Arnold.comE is for Eggs - Alphabet Activities for All Ages - a fun, egg-centered book list from Vicki-Arnold.com

Preparing for Homeschooling Middle School and Beyond

If it tells you anything about how much I was stressing over homeschooling beyond elementary school, I started this post in 2014. My oldest was entering 6th grade and I was kind of panicking because, well, middle school is right before high school and high school is slightly (very) intimidating to me.

At least, it was at the time. I’m not so much intimidated by it now. I’m pretty excited at the idea of walking through that with my kids. I still have time to research so I’m good. Ask me again in a year or so and let’s pray I’ll be the same…

Preparing for Homeschooling Middle School and Beyond

Preparing for Homeschooling Middle School Resources

I decided that since I found the thought of homeschooling middle school to be intimidating, others might be in the same boat. So today I am finally going to finish this post and give you a few resources that I am currently reading/using or have already read/used to help calm my fears.

1. The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell

I was given this book at a conference in early 2014, right about the time it was hitting me that I was going to have a 6th grader and that 6th grade isn’t very far from 9th grade. I’m a planner by nature, I like to plan things out so I thought I should definitely have this book.

Imagine my surprise when open it up and realize that she had written a section on homeschooling middle school and it was just perfectly what I needed to read. I personally love Deb’s writing style. It is conversational without being overly wordy. Like talking to a friend who cares enough to give you what you need to know, with just enough personal stories to make you understand that she gets where you are coming from.

I’d recommend this book to anyone thinking about homeschooling beyond elementary school. It pairs nicely with The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling.

2. Lee Binz’s The HomeScholar

This is a website specifically meant to help you homeschool high school. Her blog is a great resource for answering any questions you may have about preparing for high school. I like it because there are things that haven’t even crossed my mind that are discussed.

3. Other Bloggers

Yes, there are other bloggers out there who are walking this homeschool middle school journey with me and there are also homeschool bloggers who are finished with this part and want to help other moms navigate it confidently. I appreciate that so much.

The Sunny Patch has a list of blogs that talk about homeschooling middle school. I’d recommend checking that list out to see if one fits your needs.

One that is mentioned on her list that I am finding very helpful is Education Possible. One of the writers for that blog also happens to be one of the bloggers I met while working on The Library Adventure. Small world on the interwebs, isn’t it?

Dollie has a great article called 7 Ways to Transition Your Homeschool Into Middle School that I recommend reading.

4. Pinterest

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Pinterest is one of my favorite social media platforms. It is so much better than a bookmarks folder. But you knew that, right? (See also: Homeschooling Resources on Pinterest – Organized by Subject)

A couple resources regarding that:

That’s the list for now. I hope it helps you find some help with easing the anxiety of preparing to homeschool middle school. Now that I’m here (times two now!), it isn’t so bad. In fact, it can be quite fun!

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

This is the final post in the books for tween girls miniseries. Be sure to see the books series for tween girls and classic book series for tween girls posts for a plethora of reading options for tween girls.

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

I am ending the miniseries with some biographical chapter books for inspiration and encouragement. I personally believe that the more we can encourage our kids to find their own unique, God-designed path, the better. Showing them lots of examples of how others have done just that is a great start.

I’ve listed the age and grade suggestions like before.

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

These are based on real people and while the characters in the series change, the stories are definitely ones that tween girls can find inspiration in. Each series has a lot of titles. I chose a few female-focused ones for this post. Tween girls can also obviously be inspired by males, too, so don’t miss those.

Lightkeepers (8y+, 3rd+)

Who Was/Is Series (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Childhood of Famous Americans (8-12y, 4th-6th)

Sower Series (9y+, 4th+)

Christian Heroes: Then and Now (10y+, 5th+)

Do you have any biographical series for tween girls to recommend? These are the five I know about. I would love to add more! Tell me about them in the comments.

Don’t miss the other companion posts to this one – book series for tween girls and classic book series for tween girls!

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls

Previously, I shared the huge list of contemporary book series for tween girls. This post will focus on classic book series for tween girls. These are books that have stood the test of time and still bring joy to readers.

You’ll notice that not all of them are what you might consider a classic like Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables. Those are most definitely included, but so are other fun classics like Beverly Cleary’s series and The Baby-Sitters Club.

The Baby-Sitters Club books were a highlight of my late elementary/middle school years. They inspired me to take up babysitting, though I doubt I was half the babysitter that Kristy and the gang were. I just wished I was as cool as they were.

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls - A big list of ideas for girls 9-12.

Series that are pre-2000 are included on this list. After 2000, they are on the contemporary list. This is no official rule I’m following, just the way I’ve decided to break this huge list up. Be sure to watch for the next list in this miniseries, biographical series for tween girls. Sign up for email updates to be sure you don’t miss it!

So let’s get started on today’s list. Again, I have included the age and grade recommendations that I could find and the first two or three titles from the series. Also again, I am making no assessment on content, that is for you to decide for your family.

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls

Sarah, Plain and Tall (6-10y, 1st-5th)

The Borrowers (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

The Littles (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

The Boxcar Children (7y+, 2nd-5th)

American Girls Collections (8y+, 3rd+)

These are the original, historical series.

Betsy Tacy (8-12y, 2nd-5th)

Ramona (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Little House on the Prairie (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Fudge Series (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

All-of-a-Kind Family (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Baby-Sitters Club (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Anastasia Krupnik (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Anne of Green Gables (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Chronicles of Narnia (8y+, 3rd+)

I’m going with the “reading in order of publication” crowd. That is why they are “out of order” based on some of the numbers on the books. Those are of the “reading in chronological order” variety.

 

Mandie (8-13y, 3rd+)

The Moffats (10-12y, 5th-7th)

That’s today’s list. Did I miss one that you think HAS to be on this list? Tell me about it in the comments!

Don’t miss the contemporary fiction list of book series for tween girls and the biographical series for tween girls, too!

Book Series for Tween Girls – Contemporary

I have learned that not all girls are avid readers, which is something this avid reader girl just simply can NOT relate to. But, alas, my oldest daughter is not a reader. In fact, just recently she told me that she absolutely hates to read. My mouth literally fell open, which she found hilarious.

However, my younger daughter I can relate to in this area. She loves to read! She is particularly fond of series books. That started when we read the Keeker books together when she was first learning to read. She really likes series books.

I can relate. One of my fondest reading memories is reading all the Baby-Sitters Club books and catching up with the publication schedule. It was like getting caught up on my to-do list as an adult…totally gratifying.

Today, I am bringing you the first of three posts focusing on book series for tween girls. This post will focus on contemporary titles. The next one will focus on classic book series for tween girls, these are most likely the ones that us parents grew up reading. The third post will be biographical series for tween girls to encourage them to follow God’s unique plan for their life.

These are books that either of my tween girls would be able to read. If it is available, I’ve included the age and grade range that Amazon has listed for each series because I think that might be helpful given the large list here and for gauging reading level appropriateness. I’ve also included the first two or three books for each series.

Book Series for Tween Girls - Contemporary fiction

As far as content goes, I have not read each and every series. Some my girls have read and I have not, others I have read, and still others are new to both my girls and myself. I’ve chosen to include them on this list because I know that simply because a series doesn’t work for us, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else. Also, this list is a reference list for me, too.

This list is meant to be merely a starting point. Each family will have their own rules and guidelines for choosing books. I can’t account for everyone’s so I’ve been a bit liberal in what I’ve included. Meaning, there are books with fairies and goblins even though I know many families choose to avoid those (we don’t necessarily avoid them). As always, you will need to judge for yourself what is appropriate for your family.

Originally, I was going to include commentary for each of these, but the list got really long and this post was over 650 words with just the titles and the introduction. I will spare you my commentary for today.

Are you ready for the LONG list of options now? Good, let’s get at it then.

Book Series for Tween Girls

Mermaid Tales (6-9y, 1st-4th)

Judy Moody (6-9y, 1st-4th)

Amelia Bedelia (6-10y, 1st-5th)

 

The Fairy Bell Sisters (6-10y, 1st-5th)

Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo (7-9y, 2nd-4th)

Recipe for Adventure (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Thea Stilton (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

 

The Rescue Princesses (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Secret Kingdom (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Dog Diaries (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Puppy Place (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

 

Grandma’s Attic (8-12y, 3rd+)

The Mysteries of Middlefield (8-12y, 3rd+)

Ponies of Chincoteague (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Dear Dumb Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Grimmtastic Girls (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Whatever After (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Desperate Diva Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Cupcake Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Secrets of the Manor (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Penderwicks (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

TumTum and Nutmeg (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Horse Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Dear America (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Soul Surfer Series (8-12y)

Swipe (8-12y)

Sons of Angels (8-12y)

The Cooper Kids Adventure Series (8-12y, 5th+)

The Girls of Lighthouse Lane (8-12y, 5th+)

Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events (8-12y, 5th+)

The Adventures of Lily Lapp (9-12y)

Royal Diaries (9-12y)

The Cupcake Club (9-12y, 4th-7th)

The Saturday Cooking Club (9-13y, 4th-9th)

So that’s the list of contemporary book series for tween girls. Be sure to check out the list of classic book series for tween girls and biographical series for tween girls to round out your selections!

Bird Unit Study for Preschool

I can hardly believe that I’m actually looking into preschool homeschooling again. Our youngest child is three and he is our most active child yet. I am looking forward to lots of fun with this guy.

I’m one of those homeschool moms that likes to make a big plan and then pick and choose what I do as the days go. I like to have options. And sometimes I completely ignore my plans and do my own thing. Even though my plan is also my own thing. I’m complicated like that.

Right now, I am planning on using a theme or unit study approach with Oliver. And I will be sharing these here on the blog. They will consist of books, crafts, activities, coloring pages, simple worksheets, and anything else that happens to fit with the theme.

Please Note: I am not putting these together and expecting us to complete every single activity, every single time. So please don’t think I’m expecting anyone else to do so either. And with that, let’s dive on into our bird unit study for preschool!

(For more bird unit study resources, check the bottom of this post…I like birds.)

Bird Unit Study for Preschool

Bird Unit Study for Preschool

For our homeschool, every unit study starts with a book list. Some lists are longer than other, but it is the foundation. For preschool, I use both fiction and non-fiction picture books. I include some higher level reading books, we use these as read alouds or just to include the older siblings. These are marked so you know.

Books for a Bird Unit Study for Preschool

I’ve broken these up a bit to make the list a bit more organized.

Books About Birds – Living Book Style

These books are picture books that feature birds but in an engaging story about various aspects of bird life versus a list of facts or textbook style text.

  • Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? by Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Pak – This book has a lovely rhythm to it. The illustrations have a realistic nature-like look to them. There is a little interview with the nesting bird at the end of the story that has some fun facts about nesting birds.
  • Birds by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek – Bright and colorful, this book covers a variety of different looks birds can have.
  • Don’t be Afraid Little Pip by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman – Pip is disappointed that she can’t fly and tries to learn how from a few birds who can fly. Ultimately she learns to appreciate that she is a penguin and penguins aren’t meant to fly, they are meant to swim!
  • Two Blue Jays by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Megan Halsey – A classroom follows a pair of blue jays from the nest building stage to when their baby birds leave the nest and are able to fly without even one lesson. The illustrations in this book appear to be paper cutouts, they are rather neat looking.
  • Little Bird Takes a Bath by Marisabina Russo – Follow along with the little bird as he goes about his day trying to get a proper bath in the city.
  • An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long – Not all the eggs in this book are bird eggs, but a lot are and the book is too gorgeous to leave out.
  • A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long – Like the egg book, not all bird nests, but still a lovely book to include.

Picture Books With Birds

These picture books feature birds but are more storytelling fun in nature.

  • Otto the Owl Who Loved Poetry by Vern Kousky – I love that this book introduces poetry to preschoolers in a fun way. There are excerpts from “real” poets like T.S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson and then Otto creates some of his own.
  • The Little Bird Who Lost His Song by Jedda Robaard – A little bird goes on a short journey to find his song in this board book. There are a couple flaps in this book which make it more interactive for little ones.
  • Home Tweet Home by Courtney Dicmas – This is a fun, colorful book about two bird siblings who try to find the perfect home for their large family, only to realize they already have it.
  • Duck’s Vacation by Gilad Soffer – This is a silly, bird version of the classic There’s a Monster at the End of This Book.
  • Duck & Goose Go to the Beach by Tad Hills – Duck and Goose are good friends and always a fun read. There are multiple books featuring them. This one has them traveling to the beach. I can oftentimes relate to Goose in this book.
  • Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins – A young woodpeckers learns how to peck, and proceeds to peck a hole in just about everything. A slightly silly, fun read.
  • I’m Not Reading by Jonathon Allen – Baby Owl is trying to read a book to his stuffed Owly when a horde of baby chicks invades. It’s a cute horde.

These two picture books tell a story, but they have a sad element in them that you may want to pre-read so you can decide if your child will be ok with them.

  • Bluebird by Bob Staake – This is a wordless book about a lonely boy who befriends a sweet blue bird. The story has a tragic element when the bluebird is struck and killed by a bully with a stick. The book ends with several birds flying the sad boy and his bluebird up in the sky, where the bluebird flies and fades off into the clouds. The geometric illustrations are unique and the reason this book is still on this list.
  • Hungry Hen by Richard Waring, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church – This book is similar to a fairy tale. The fox watches the hungry hen grow, always waiting just one more day because she will be bigger the next day. The fox grows weaker each day until one day he pounces…and the hen eats him. Some kids will find this role reversal funny, some very much not. It reminds me of Aesop’s fables, so I included it on the list.

Bird Picture Books for Older Kids

These books will make a good read aloud or as a way to include an older sibling in on the study:

  • Seabird by Holling Clancy Holling – This is a classic living book that chronicles the journey of a carved ivory gull through every “age of American adventure.”
  • Backyard Birds of Summer by Carol Lerner – The detailed, colored pencil illustrations of this book are lovely. The book covers feeder birds and birds using houses and includes a chapter on attracting birds to your own yard. There is also a section for more information and further reading.
  • Backyard Birds of Winter by Carol Lerner – I did not actually have this one on hand, but it is recommended on the back of the birds of summer book by the same author. I am assuming it is similar and wanted to include it so you would know it is available (I didn’t).

Crafts & Activities for a Bird Unit Study for Preschool

I searched for crafts and activities that would be suitable for 3-4-year-olds, but most of these can be done by just about any age child.

If you would like a unit study for older children to go along with this one for the preschoolers, check out the Bird Unit Study over at Every Star is Different! Several of her activities can be used with preschoolers, too. I actually downloaded her science printable pack to use with my kids. I’ll laminate them and we will be able to use them for a long time!

So that is the bird unit study for preschool. In putting this together, I realized a few things. First, I love birds and think they are a lot of fun. Second, I have already written a couple of posts on bird unit studies and even created a couple printables. Third, there will likely be another bird booklist in the future because I found even more adorable bird books to check out at our library. You’re welcome.

Other bird unit study resources on the blog: