We’ve created plenty of matching games at story time, but what about an un-matching game? Search under the snow to find 4 leaves for your bird nest. But look carefully – no two leaves can be alike!
We read No Two Alike by Keith Baker (Beach Lane Books, 2011). Two red birds journey through a winter woods, observing everything from snowflakes to animal tracks. Trees, nests, branches, leaves, even patterns on feathers – each thing is different, and that’s something to admire!
- 1 small box (mine was 4” x 4” x 4” – a small tissue box works too)
- Brown and red construction paper
- 2 toilet paper tubes
- 2 small feathers, each a different color
- 2 small triangles of self-adhesive foam
- 2 pairs of eye stickers
- 1 un-matching leaf game (more on that below!)
- Scissors, tape and glue for construction
We’ll begin with your bird nest! To make the birds, wrap 2 toilet paper tubes with red construction paper. Cut wings from construction paper and attach to the tube. Use triangles of self-adhesive foam for the beaks (or snippets of yellow construction paper). We used eye stickers, but you can also draw the eyes on with marker. In the book, the birds are almost identical (but not quite). So we added two different color feather crests.
To make the nest, cut a box down to 2.5″ and then wrap it with strips of brown construction paper. We used multicultural construction paper, cut into different jagged lengths. Attach the strips to the box with tape or glue.
Set the birds and nest aside for a moment, it’s time for the game! I had some “Fabric Fall Leaves” from Discount School Supply (a pack of 200 costs $6). Katie used a permanent marker to draw 24 sets of leaves. Each set consisted of 4 shapes – a triangle, a rectangle, a circle, and a square.
We scattered all 96 leaves on top of a brown bed sheet…
And heaped a ton of polyester fill “snow” on top of them.
The story time kids dug into the snow to find a set of leaves, keeping in mind that the shapes on the leaves could NOT match! I did, however, post drawings of the shapes nearby, so they could remember which shapes they were looking for.
I was worried the game was going to be a crazy digging frenzy but it was actually quite relaxed as kids quietly dug and searched for the leaves to tuck into their nests.