I remember when I was young, my parents helped me make a bird feeder out of a cardboard milk carton (showing my age a little). We would cut a square from the bottom of the front out of the carton. Then we poked a hole through the middle of the thick seam at the top of the carton to thread wire or string through so we could hang it from a tree. Filling the simple feeder was so exciting, seeing the birds come to it over and over was ever more exciting. I got to see birds up close I normally wouldn’t even see. This sparked a lifelong love for birdwatching in me.
Homesteading is much more fun for kids when you include a love for nature in your plans. We like to attract as much wildlife to our property as possible and birds are one of the easiest creatures to bring to your yard. There are many fun ways your kids can help attract birds to your house and learn about them.
Bird Watching Activities for Kids:
Each year we try to put food out to attract birds to our yard. My kids, my husband, and I love to see how many different kinds of birds we can attract and study them. This is truly a fun hobby that is fun for the whole family. It helps encourage our children to learn while having fun in the process.
- Feed the birds, enjoy the process together by making your own homemade wild bird food.
- Use binoculars to get a closer look.
- Photography…take pictures of the birds you attract to identify and study later.
- Keep a journal/scrapbook with pictures of all the different birds you observe, what kind of food attracted them, and when they show up and disappear.
- Print these realistic coloring pages for your kids to color and identify the parts of the bird.
- Make a lapbook or interactive notebook.
- Keep a checklist of birds you might see in your area and check them off as you see them. Make it a scavenger hunt, start with a list of birds and see how many you can attract and check off.
- Encourage birds to ‘make themselves at home’ by building nesting boxes and birdhouses and providing nesting material for them. We try to add at least one new birdhouse or nesting box each year. My kids love to help build birdhouses and nesting boxes for the birds. This can be a fun winter project for dad (or mom) and the kids.
- Create a bird-friendly environment by planting plants or even whole gardens for them. Include plants, bird baths, and smaller trees to land in.
- Have your kids read about birds (what attracts them, what they eat, their habitats, etc.) and come up with their own ideas, encourage creativity.