Bird BINGO With the Witte Museum

bird bingo witte museum backyard blue jay

Have you and your kids been staring at screens too long? Go to your backyard and look for birds! Download and print a Bird BINGO card, watch the how-to video from the Witte Museum’s Witte Where You Are activities, and try birdwatching. We’ll explain how the museum is staying true to our mission during these times, and will explain how to adapt and extend this activity for different ages of children.

For more ideas about activities you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit Charter a Voyage of Learning.

Witte Where You Are

Clearly, the year 2020 has not gone the way any of us had planned. Here at the Witte Museum, we had planned for field trip students to fill our galleries in the spring and for children to spend their summer days at Witte Museum Camp. Back in March, when reality shifted, we knew the museum needed to shift our plans, too.

Founded in 1926, the Witte Museum is a gathering place for the San Antonio community and beyond, with a focus on lifelong learning that will help shape and transform the future of Texas. At the beginning of the pandemic, it became clear that—like many others—we would have to temporarily close our doors to the public. Our focus remained the same, but our delivery method changed. Instead of welcoming field trips, campers, and multi-generational groups of visitors to the Museum, we moved our content and programming online to help families continue to learn together from the safety of their homes.

As a Witte team, we launched Witte Where You Are, a digital learning series that brings the magic of nature, science, and culture directly to you. New segments are added on a regular basis, providing Witte content and educational activities developed by our talented curators and educators. We are thrilled to bring one of our favorite segments from Witte Where You Are to San Antonio Charter Moms and your families. Gather up the kids and check out the video and corresponding activity below to learn more about the incredible nature waiting to be discovered in our own backyards.

Bird BINGO Resources

Watch our Bird BINGO video with Colleen Ferguson, Director of Public Programs.

Download and print the Witte Where You Are Backyard BIRD Watching BINGO card.

Bird BINGO for Preschoolers

Get outside! Practice using our senses to make observations about our surroundings. Ask your child: What do you hear? Smell? See? Feel? Just maybe leaving the tasting to lunch.

Use or create observation tools. Finding a child-sized pair of binoculars can make birdwatching more exciting; or create your own out of cardboard craft tubes and string. Using tools is a great way to build science skills.

Bird BINGO for Elementary Aged Children

Find a bird guide—available at the museum store—and take your identification a step further. Texas Parks and Wildlife has a great starter guide to the common birds of Texas on their website.

Practice making observations, but with a focus. When your child spots a bird, before marking it off on the game board, ask for your child to name one adaptation (a body part, body covering, or behavior) that helps the bird survive in their habitat.

Play Bird BINGO from different locations and compare and contrast the differences in sightings.

Bird BINGO for Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers

Practice nature journaling. Have your children sketch, label and describe what they see. Impart the importance of recording scientific findings to remember observations and share what they have learned.

Become a citizen scientist. Download the iNaturalist app on compatible devices to take photos of the birds that you see and add them to this nationwide wildlife database.

Charter Moms Chats

Watch Colleen Ferguson and Helen Holdsworth on Charter Moms Chats with Inga Cotton, Friday at 9 AM Central, on Facebook and YouTube.

For more ideas about activities you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit Charter a Voyage of Learning.

About the Authors

Helen Holdsworth is the Chief of Engagement at the Witte Museum, and Colleen Ferguson is the Director of Public Programs. Both Helen and Colleen are passionate about creating fun and engaging ways for families to connect with the past, present, and future of Texas.