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Flock to new early learner programs at the National Aviary

A child marvels at the flamingos at the National Aviary
Deanna Lee
September28/ 2015

The National Aviary recently announced a series of new hands-on programs to teach young children about the wonder of birds.

The new Little Peepers, Junior Chefs and Junior Vets programs are designed to introduce early learners to different bird species and the ways in which the National Aviary cares for them. These regular programs begin at 10:15 a.m. on weekdays and are included in the price of admission.

During Little Peepers, children discover bird species through stories, in Junior Chefs, they learn what and how different birds eat and with Junior Vets, they explore animal health and care through veterinary role-playing with plush birds. Each of the preschool programs also has a live bird component, so children can meet animal friends up close!

In addition to the early learning programs, the Aviary is also offering two classes for toddlers and pre-K students in the next two months. On October 13th, parents and little ones can learn about owls through stories and crafts. And on November 10th, toddlers will get a chance to waddle their way through the world of penguins (parents must pre-register for both of these classes).

Robin Weber, director of marketing and communications at the National Aviary, describes how hands-on learning is an important part of all of the new programs. “We understand that children learn best through play,” she says. “We’ve designed all of our programs to be activity-based because we want children to have fun as they discover the wonders of birds!”

Weber adds that all of the programs feature live birds to keep the kids engaged, interested and to help them better understand human-animal interaction. “By directly interacting with live birds and by experiencing positive human interactions with the animals, children can develop a love for nature and an understanding of their connection to it that can last a lifetime,” she says.

All of the exhibits and learning experiences at the National Aviary are primarily indoors, and the facility is both stroller- and wheelchair-friendly. Families can attend the Aviary Monday through Friday to take advantage of the Little Peepers, Jr. Chefs and Jr. Vets programs, which all begin at 10:15 a.m. And to sign up for the preschool and toddler classes, call 412-258-9439 or email education.programs@aviary.org

Featured photo: A young visitor marvels at the flamingos at the Aviary. Photo courtesy of the National Aviary

Deanna Lee

Deanna earnestly covers all the people and events that make Pittsburgh the best place to raise a kid. When she's not writing, you might find her running the streets of the East End. cooking big meals in her tiny kitchen, and spending time with her family.