My students loved getting to watch hatching chicks! It is one of my favorite spring activities for preschoolers. The children’s excitement grew over the course of the 21-day incubation period for the chicks. And it was such a rewarding experience for both the children and myself when the chicks finally hatched. I can’t lie – I got the most joy from getting to watch the kids, not the chicks!
Related: Spring Activities for Preschoolers
This month, the kiddos in my preschool were able to learn about hatching chicks. Our wonderful music/resource teacher was in charge of this project, which allowed all of the children to be involved. She got some fertilized eggs and an incubator from a local farm and set up everything in our music room. The kiddos were very excited about the arrival of the eggs. Honestly, so was I! I still remember hatching chicks when I was in kindergarten, so I knew our students would have great memories of this experience.
Over the course of 21 days, the children were able to observe the eggs in the incubator. They also participated in “candling” experiments, which allowed them to take a peek at the chicks’ progress inside the eggs. Each of the classroom teachers incorporated some learning activities related to chicks during the month, as well.
After waiting three weeks, there was some indication that the chicks were ready to hatch. On Tuesday morning, we saw a small crack in a few of the eggs. The process chicks go through as they hatch is a long process, up to 12 hours, so we knew there was still some time to wait before the chicks hatched. When we left school that afternoon, there were more cracks, but still no chicks.
The next morning, which happened to be the first day of spring, there were two brand-new baby chicks in the incubator! I was the first one in to work that day, so I made sure to notify our music teacher via text. I swear, we are all atwitter as if the hatching chicks were human babies being born! It really was a cool process to watch!
The newly-hatched chicks stayed in the incubator until their feathers were a bit dryer. At that time, they were transferred to a special box made just for them. There was a window cut into the box, covered by cling wrap, and a heat lamp hung above the box. It was lined with paper towels and contained food and water for the chicks, too.
For the rest of the week, each class had the chance to visit with the chicks. The children were completely enraptured watching the chicks in the box! The chicks seemed just as interested in the children, as they’d often come to the window peeping at the kiddos through the “window”.
In addition to observing the chicks in their box, the children were also able to pet and/or hold the chicks last week. I loved watching their faces as they held the chicks! What an amazing experience for them, as well as for the teachers. Yes, we teachers were just as into petting and holding the chicks as the kids were.
Engineer came into school with me a few evenings last week. He loved watching the chicks, talking to them, and holding them. We had so many great discussions about how chicks grow inside their eggs, the hatching process, and what chicks need to grow. He tried his best to get me to adopt some of the chicks! Thankfully, he saw reason and agreed that we just didn’t have an appropriate place to keep chicks.
On Friday, our music teacher returned the chicks to the farm. Watching the chicks hatch was a real, meaningful, and fun learning process for both teachers and students alike. Below are some books and arts/crafts related to chicks that go along well with the real-life experience of hatching chicks.
Books related to Hatching Chicks and Eggs (please note that there are Amazon affiliate links below) –
~ Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones (World of Nature Series)
~ Big Egg (Step-Into-Reading, Step 1)
~ From Egg to Chicken (Lifecycles)
~ Tillie Lays An Egg
~ An Extraordinary Egg
~ Where Do Chicks Come From? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)
~ Hedgie’s Surprise
~ From Egg to Chicken (Start to Finish)
Arts & Crafts Activities related to Chicks and Eggs
~ House of Burke’s Contact Paper Chick
~ Red Ted Art’s Egg Carton Chicken Egg Cups
~ Taming the Goblin’s Easter Chicks
~ Casa One.Five.One’s Easter Craftiness
~ Little Wonders’ Days’ Shaving Cream Painted Easter Egg Cards
~ Crafty Endeavor’s Easter Egg Garland
Shared at Tuesday Tots, Mom’s Library, The Sunday Showcase
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Awwww, so cute! I wish I could get some chicks so we could watch them hatch! Unfortunately, we can’t have chickens where I live…
Thanks for stopping by, Camille. Yes, those chicks were adorable!! 🙂 We are lucky to have such a great music/resource teacher who took this task on.
Just pinned this! What a cool experience for the kids!
Amy @ Creative Kid Snacks
Thanks, Amy! Yes, it really was a cool experience for all of us. 🙂
Bre Paulson says
How fun! We did this when I was in kindergarten and it was one of my favorite memories of school!
Thanks so much for linking up with THE Collective this week 🙂
Thanks for hosting it, Bre. 🙂 Yes, I still remember hatching chicks in kindergarten when I was a kid. I know our students are going to have great memories. 🙂
This is so awesome!! I love the idea of kids being involved in the hatching process!! When Kingston is older, we plan on getting chicks and letting him be part of the experience. Then we will keep them in the backyard! 🙂
And thank you soooooooo much for featuring my contact paper chick!!! 🙂
You’re welcome! It’s so adorable, I just had to share! 🙂
My sister lives in a different state, and they have room for chickens in their backyard. They’re raising them, and my nephew loves it. I bet Kingston will get a kick out of it when he’s older. 🙂
That’s great!! We have 1 1/2 acres, so plenty of room of some laying hens! I think K will love it too. Plus it teaches so much responsibility and life skills. Not to mention the benefit of never running out of eggs! 🙂
Oh man, that’s awesome! Engineer would love to have some acreage to chase chickens around on. 🙂 Maybe one day. And when you do get chicks, I totally need to see pictures!
KC @ genxfinance says
That was awesome. It would be fun to watch them grow. And it seems like the children are learning and having fun! Nice.
This sounds so interesting! My child would love to see something like that happen. I know the preschool kids were so enthralled with hatching chicks. Visiting from Make It or Fix It Yourself. Stop by if you get a chance.
Thanks for stopping by, Sharon. 🙂 I’ve already checked out your Edible Chocolate Flowerpot Cake (saw it on pinterest, I think), but I messed up commenting on it — so I’ll pop over again shortly!
Our chicks are four weeks old now and on the way to being teens (pullets). Now if the warm weather would just stick we could put them outside. But instead they are living it up inside, flying at us to get some cuddles. They are hilarious creatures, much more social than I had expected. All six have survived and now we need to name them …. so far we have chosen “Camilla” and Monkey has chosen “Carissa,” now four names to go. By the time y’all get to visit they’ll be big hens and Engineer can see what a mess they make 🙂
We can’t wait to visit (to see ya’ll and the chicks), although I feel sorry for the hens — having both Monkey AND Engineer to harass them. 🙂
My kids get to hatch eggs in Kindergarten. It is the highlight of their year!
Thanks for stopping by. I loved watching the process, both when I was a kindergarten student AND a preschool teacher. 🙂
How exciting! I still remember doing this at school and I was chosen out of everyone to take the chicks to the farm.
Thanks for linking to the Sunday Showcase. I’ve pinned it to our board.
Thanks so much, Rebecca! Yes, this was definitely the highlight of the year for the kiddos. I love stopping by the Sunday Showcase every weekend — thanks for hosting and pinning. 🙂
Mrs Parry-Jones says
We currently have Eggs in Nursery and are enjoying them a lot. Check out our blog to see all our Learning Fun and our super cute chicks.