DIY Bird Land Game

This week, we're appreciating the other lovely thing you can see when there are no leaves: birds!


And what better way to appreciate something than to learn more about it. . .


. . . while playing a fun game that. . .


. . . will help you identify. . .


. . . all of your favorite. . .


. . . feathered friends. Won't you come and play too?


DIY Bird Land Board Game


  • Scrap Fabric
  • Fabric paint (1 color)
  • 4-8 wooden discs from a craft store or slices of a 3/4"-1" diameter branch
  • Card Stock
  • Pencils or Markers (Markers smudge less over time)
  • Dice 
  • Birding Guides 

Cut or rip your fabric to the size you would like (mine is approximately 14" x 24"). If you would like to keep the edges from fraying, run a simple zigzag stitch around the outside edge. Once you have your fabric game board, sketch a snaking path from the bottom of the fabric to the top that is about 1 1/4" wide lightly with a pencil. Mark out the spaces on the path and paint every other one a solid color. Paint arrows from lower spaces to upper spaces and from upper spaces to lower spaces to add variation to the game (these will move players up or down the path when they land on them). Allow to dry. To completely set the color, let dry over night and iron to seal it. Paint different shapes in different colors on the tops of your wooden game pieces and set aside to dry. Cut sheets of card stock into 3"x2" pieces approximately. About the size of a business card. You can make larger cards if you'd like more space for drawing and writing. If you don't want to cut anything at all, you could even go for extra large cards and use 3" x 5" index cards.

Once you have your cards ready, grab your favorite birding book, or check out this wonderful resource for bird silhouettes and start drawing them out on the cards.  On separate cards write facts about the various birds with the name of the bird on the reverse side. Make sure to put the name of the bird on the reverse side of the silhouette cards too.

When your card stack is complete - make as many as you like and keep adding new ones each time you play to allow the game to evolve with your little learners - play the game together.

How to Play

  • Ask each participant to select a game piece.
  • Draw straws or pick names out of a bag to see who goes first. 
  • During their turn, the player will roll the dice and pick a card. The dice will show the number of places the player will move forward. If they answer the card correctly they get points 2 points for silhouette cards and 4 points for information cards.
  • If a player lands on a space with an arrow they automatically go up or down the board in the direction of the arrow.
  • Continue playing until the first player makes it to the end of the path.
  • Count up all of the cards each player won over the course of the game and find out who won that round based on the points collected!


 With the Kids:

  • Head out on a hike with the kids before playing the game and try to identify the birds that live in your neighborhood.
  • Take a moment while you are out to notice the sounds and calls of the birds.  If you have a smart phone or tape recorder with you, you could even record the sounds!
  • When you come home, play your favorite instrumental music while the kids are making the cards for the game. Take your time with this part, studies show we learn more when we go slow and write things down by hand.
  • Expand the game each time you play it by adding new cards.
  • Make the game your own by adding new rules and bonus rounds.  Keep track of these variations in a game book!


~xox, I.C.


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