One of the things that I love about homeschooling is how organic it can be. You start reading a topic in history that leads you to geography, that leads you to science and eventually leads to a muddy sort of experiment all over the front porch. And any book the boys might be reading can lead who knows where, and I like to go with the flow and learn some new things myself!
My oldest has been reading one of my favorite books, the Hobbit lately.
Towards the end, he asked me what a thrush bird was. I remembered the little bird being an important, although small, part of the plot in the Hobbit, but I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of a bird a thrush was either.
So we looked it up. Turns out, there are a lot of different thrushes in the world, in all different colors.
The google search also revealed a BBC video series called “The Life of Birds”, so we started in watching that. At the end of an episode, one of my boys asked me what my favorite bird was, to which I promptly replied- “a robin redbreast.” When asked why, I had to stop and think about it. Then it popped into my mind. Because of the Secret Garden of course! Another of my favorite books from childhood.
It was the robin who showed the way into the garden!
If I hadn’t been thinking about birds so much lately, I might never have taken notice of a cute little book at the library on how to make stuffed birds, by a woman named Abigail Glassenberg. I thought I would try and make a little thrush, just for fun and for the Hobbit’s sake. I went a little overboard on the colors however, since no thrush in any picture I had seen was quite as flamboyant as the one I ended up making. But I couldn’t help myself- I had a whole stack of vibrant velvet pants I was itching to repurpose.
Accenting the wings was fun. There are really endless possibilities with these.
I love the little birdy feet, but they are made of wrapped wire, so I am not sure how well these little guys would do as a snuggly stuffed animal. They seem more like something you would just keep on a shelf, but my boys are always asking to play with them, so who knows!
After the thrush, I thought I would try something a little more true to nature, and naturally, a robin redbreast was my next choice. I veered away from the pattern in the book just to see if I could make one work, and it came out all right, I think.
Not quite as eye catching perhaps, but it makes his red breast stand out all the more. And I finished him just in time for the real robins to herald the spring. These will go on my shop, just to see what happens. And they were so much fun, I might be trying some more. Any requests?