Recommended age for this lesson: 2+
Skills to work on in this activity:
- Daily Living
- Reading Comprehension (If paired with an App: Assistive Technology Ex: iOS: SeeingAI or Android: EnvisionAI)
- Following Directions
- Tactual Discrimination
APH Products that supplement this activity:
- Tactile Town and Guidebook (for creating a large tactile map)
- Picture Maker (for a small tactile
- Explorer Bright Ray Kit (Headlamp to illuminate activities( map)
- Learning to Listen (Book)
Adaptations for older children:
- Divide the recipe in half and let your child do the math
- Try doing online research to identify birds by their chirps and create a list of the birds that visited your yard
- Create a tactile map of the places where the eggs are hidden
- Hypothesize how long it will take for the birds to finish the eggs you have hidden
Does your little one love to hunt for Easter Eggs? This year, try creating an egg hunt for the birds and bring the sounds of spring to your house. Listening to the birds as they enjoy the treats you have made is sure to bring a smile! If your child wants to learn to identify birds by their song, you can create a nature study around this activity too!!!
What you will need:
- Large Mixing Bowl or container
- Saucepan for boiling water
- Plastic Easter Eggs
- 10 cups of Bird Seed
- Gelatin (can be flavored but unflavored is recommended). A small box is fine; just check the ingredients to ensure it takes 2 cups of water.
Readers Note: You may want to spray the inside of the eggs before filling to allow them to release easier. You can use vegetable oil or a cooking spray.
Explain the project to your child so they understand what and why you will be doing this activity.
Setting up your workspace:
Let your child assist with locating everything you will need for this project. It is important they know where to find things in the kitchen, bowls, measuring cups, saucepan, etc. If your measuring cups are not accessible, try to use individual cups (rather than a large cup with multiple measurements). Read the directions on the box of gelatin aloud or use an app to read the directions (iOS: SeeingAI or Android: EnvisionAI).
Place the necessary items on the counter and give your child time to learn where everything is located. Ask your child if they remember what to do first, according to the directions on the box. If they do not remember, read the directions again, or use an app to read the directions aloud.
First, you will need to prepare your gelatin as directed on the box. Allow your child to open the gelatin and place it in the bowl. Your child, of any age, can fill the measuring cup with water and place it in the respective container. If any water is spilled, let your child try to clean up the spill; with assistance as necessary. If your child is at least 6 yrs. old, let your child set the temperature for the burner when boiling the water so they learn to use the stove. Help them to listen to the water to know when it is boiling. You may want to place the boiling water in the bowl yourself, to avoid an accident. Let your child gently mix the gelatin together with the spoon until it is well blended.
Next, add the birdseed. Stir with the spoon until you are sure it has cooled to the touch, and then allow your child to continue blending the mixture with their hands in order to know when it is well blended. The mixture will be thick.
(For little ones, let your child find an empty egg and emphasize the egg is “empty”.) Help your child to fill the Easter Eggs, one side at a time. Emphasize the egg is now “full” and help them close the egg. Place the eggs in an empty egg carton, if available, and place them in the refrigerator. Allow them to “set” as directed on the box.
When your eggs are finished, carefully remove them from the Easter egg “mold”. Let your child examine how the egg has become more firm than it was when placed in the refrigerator. Return the birdseed eggs to the egg carton.
Now you are ready to “hide” the eggs for the birds to find. Let your child decide where to place the eggs outside of your home; this will give your child a chance to navigate through the environment and use those O&M skills. It may take some time for the birds to discover these treasures so make sure to alert your child when you notice the birds, open the window, and let your child listen to the different birds chirping as they enjoy the surprise you have left for them.
About Donna McClure-Rogers: Early Childhood and CVI Project Leader for the American Printing House for the Blind. Donna has been a TVI within PreK-12 for many years, has a background in Vocational Rehabilitation, Job Coaching, and has worked as a Disability Rights Advocate for a division of NDRN. She has a congenital visual impairment and she and her husband homeschool their two boys in Kentucky.