Our theme for this week is Owls!
Owls are amazing creatures and kids will enjoy learning about these beautiful birds. There are many different kinds of owls -- snowy owl, burrowing, owl, great horned owl -- it's interesting to learn about what they have in common and how they differ.
Great Horned Owl
There are over 200 types of owls, some are more popular than others. Owls are nocturnal animals (which means they usually sleep during the day and are awake at night).
Owls are known for their ability to twist their heads to be able to see behind them -- kids love to imitate owls in this manner.
Where to Find Owls
Many local nature centers have birds of prey, especially if a certain type of owl is nature to your state or area. This is one of the best places for kids to see owls -- and many times the center will hold educational programs that feature the owls so you can learn more about them.
In Your Neighborhood
Owls can be viewed in their natural habitat. It's not easy to find one because they are quiet birds who like to hide. They will sometimes fly around neighborhoods and rural areas seeking food and shelter. One of the best ways to find an owl is to listen for their hoot (or call) in the evening.
For some specific information about owl calls, visit Stokes Birds at Home to learn how to identify an owl call.
If you're not able to find an owl in your area, you can find some fun places to learn about them online:
National Geographic Kids has some wonderful pictures and facts about Snowy Owls
Zoobooks has a wonderful page about Owls on their Virtual Zoo
The San Diego Zoo also has some great photos and information about Owls
Great Kids Books about Owls
Owls by Gail Gibbons
A wonderful nonfiction book that shares all kinds of fun facts and details about owls. Learn about habitats, features and the lives of owls.
Barn Owl by Bert Kitchen
An excellent book to introduce kids to owls. Read about Barn Owls, also known as screetch owls, in this informative and beautiful picture book.
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
A father and daughter take a walk one night under the owl moon. Go along on an adventure of 'owling' on a winter's night.
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Three baby owls wake up one night and find their mother is gone. What are they to do? Beautiful illustrations are found in this lovely story.
Nate the Great on the Owl Express by Marjorie Sharmat
When Nate the Great hits the rails to guard an owl named Hoot, all kinds of mysterious things begin to happen. Can he solve the case of the vanishing owl?
There's an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George
Borden does not like the spotted owls that cost his father his job. But when he 'adopts' an abandoned owlet and tries to care for him, he learns a great deal about the conflicts between nature and industry.
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
A funny story (that makes a wonderful read-aloud) about two boys who find an owls nest and 'adopt' two owl babies. Follow along with all the fun antics that come with having an owl as a pet!
While reading your owl stories, I would recommend this fun Edible Owl Snack from our friends at Creative Playhouse!
Crafts for Kids
Since it is hard to find owls, doing an owl craft is a great way for some hands-on fun! Here are a number of creative craft ideas that kids can make themselves:
Make these adorable Felt Owl Fingerpuppets from Playing with Words 365
Use pumpkin seeds to make a cool Seed Owl with Red Ted Art
Create an amazing Owl Portrait from That Artist Woman
Make Yarn Owls with Pink and Green Mama
Paint a Fun Handprint Owl from Red Ted Art
Create a beautiful Collage Owl with Creative Family Fun
Make some Colorful Paper Owls with Putti's World
Did you miss our other Theme Weeks - kids books & hands-on activities each week: