Monday, July 29, 2013

Angry Birds Birthday Box!

I was on Amazon a few weeks ago browsing toddler toys for my daughter's upcoming birthday. We must own half of Amazon.... seriously. The toys are multiplying and taking over our house, and everyone I talk to says the same thing! So what do you do when you are invited to a birthday party? What do you buy for the kids who already own everything they could possibly need and want?

I decided to get a little creative and make a custom Birthday Box for an Angry Birds - obsessed friend of my daughter for his 3rd birthday. I found this Montessori-style Angry Birds Mini Unit on Counting Coconuts, and modified the activities based on the supplies I had on hand and could find easily at local stores.

Everything fit in a clear tub that I decorated with strips of Angry Birds duct tape.
Here's a look inside:

Angry Bird Flyers
This was based on the Launch-a-Bird slingshot activity from Counting Coconuts. I wasn't sure the birthday boy's mom wanted me to give him a real slingshot, even if it was designed to shoot little fuzzy pom poms, so I opted for these flyers from Target instead. I added an Angry Birds notepad and pencils, a mini pencil sharpener, and a small tape measure. I let M test these out, and she had a blast! They are a little hard to shoot at first (you squeeze the handle to make the disc fly out), and you have to play around with them for a while to figure out how to aim, but that didn't seem to bother her. I added little index cards with descriptions of the activities and possible extension activities. This one is designed for the child to measure how far they could shoot the discs, but could be turned into a competition with multiple players.

Mini Angry Birds
This gluing activity was also borrowed from Counting Coconuts. I put several fuzzy pom poms of different sizes and a small bag of googly eyes in a pencil case. Add a bottle of white glue and you can make mini Angry Birds! Since there were different sizes of pom poms, and I know the birthday boy has a few (read: more than he knows how to count) Angry Bird stuffed animals, I added an extension activity to try to put several birds in order from smallest to largest.

"Real Angry Birds" Matching

The Real Angry Birds cards on Counting Coconuts seemed a little advanced for a 3 year old, so I made a matching game instead. I found a list of birds on this website, then Googled the species of birds to find pictures I liked. I used the blank Montessori 3 Part Cards template (click here for the link) to make the cards, but I left the names attached since I didn't make the matching cards identical.

Measuring Bird Seed
I almost didn't add this activity because it seemed so basic, but M has enjoyed scooping sand so much that I figured I would give it a try. The measuring spoons add a little extra interest because they could be used for comparisons (How many scoops does it take if you use the tablespoon? What about the teaspoon?). I also thought this could be good for making predictions and practicing counting. The child could guess how many tablespoons of bird seed are in the container (predict), then check their guess by counting as they transfer the bird seed from one container to the other.

Angry Birds Concentration

I printed several (many more than shown) small icons from the Angry Birds game, backed them all on blue paper (so you couldn't see through the back), and laminated them. This would be a pretty intense concentration game if all the cards were used! This could easily be broken into smaller sets for memory / matching games. It could also be used "Go Fish" style to play with two or more people (although the cards are pretty small).

Angry Birds Roller Stamps

These were an impulse buy at Target's Dollar Spot, so I had to find a way to incorporate them into an activity.  M loved the counting stamps activity I did with ocean creature stamps, so I thought that could work with these stamps as well. I included a few blank sheets of construction paper, and one sheet with the numbers zero through five written across the top (put zero stamps under the zero, one stamp under the one, and so on). These could also be used for creating patterns - each pen had a different stamp on the top and they could be used in combination to make different types of patterns.

Angry Birds Dry Erase Board

Another Target Dollar Spot impulse buy... why did they have so much Angry Birds stuff?? This could be used in combination with any of the activities (keep score for the Angry Birds Flyers, keep track of the number of scoops of bird seed, etc.) or as a stand-alone activity. For some reason dry-erase boards are way more interesting than plain paper.

Angry Birds Patterns

I printed this last pattern sheet from Homeschool Creations Angry Birds Printable Pack. They have a preschool and a kindergarten version of the free packet. Most of the pages were a little to "school-y" for me, but they had some cute math and pre-writing activities included.

I packed all of the activities and direction cards into individual containers or clipped them together, and put all of the smaller containers into the tub. As my husband pointed out, it would have been a lot easier to grab something from the store, but I was excited about this custom gift!

We happen to have a few more birthdays coming up next month, so there just may be a couple more Birthday Boxes in the works!

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