My son is into everything owls right now. It's been that way for about a year now. That was when we started reading the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. He's at book 11 now, To Be a King, and plowing through it steadily.
So, when I talked to my son about starting a club so that he could remain in contact with his friends, he immediately suggested a Birds of Prey club. Not just owls, because he knew the friends he would invite are into different kinds of birds. Mostly the flesh-tearing kind, like vultures, eagles, and hawks. And so the Birds of Prey Club was born. I decided that we would do a trial run during the summer so we could figure out what we needed to do to make it work for everyone. Get the wind beneath our wings so to speak.
We sent flyers to his friends well in advance. We thought of a few activities we could do. We picked out a few books about birds of prey. And we waited until the first club meeting. Even though I asked for parents/kids to RSVP, we didn't hear back from many in advance and I was terrified the club members would be my son, daughter, and myself.
But never fear...our four club members arrived full of energy, so we walked over to our local park to play "Predator and Prey", which is basically tag. Our "predator" picked a role...I think we had an American Kestral Eagle and a Golden Eagle. And our "prey" also picked a role...king rats, lemmings, and kangaroo rats were the order of the day. It didn't take long before our group of boys were tuckered out. Oh, and the boys put together a secret handshake while we were at the park, which was quite hilarious. Too bad I didn't take a video camera along.
We returned to our house for a snack, which my son prepared in advance...some of those freshly picked strawberries and some blueberries too. And then we moved on to our craft.
We made a cross between artist trading cards and hockey cards. Some chose to draw scenes or birds, others cut out pictures, and I made a collage. Then, most of the kids wrote on the back of the card some cool facts about whatever they created. Did you know that an eagle's nest was measured to be over 20 feet high? Neither did I!
Anyway, there was a little trading, and then the kids were done. They clearly felt in their bones it was time to move on to something different. They wandered outside and our backyard became an imaginary war zone, where each kid was an army commander in the same army, whatever could be a weapon (dog toys?) was a weapon, and strategies were made to defeat the evil Mama and Papa spies in the backyard. A most pleasant afternoon.
But I feel pressed for ideas for future meetings. Of course, I'll ask my son for his ideas. But here's all I have left:
~ building an eagle's nest out of twigs or toothpicks
~ scavenger hunt, perhaps at our local museum, to find and identify all the birds of prey they have on display
~ building kites that resemble birds of prey
~ perhaps there is a project in our The Wright Brothers for Kids book?
~ a desperate Google search
Any other suggestions?