The Wonderful World of Birds
Who said Outside Free Play couldn’t be fun and educational at the same time? Once you step outside, there are bound to be birds flying around. What a great opportunity to learn while having fun! The first one involves building a nesting box for the birdies in your backyard. Once you’ve given them a place to rest, you’ll be able to make them some treats to snack on. And finally, we’ve included some fun tips to observe the birds in your area.
How To: Build a Nesting Box
* Multiple pieces of wood
* Measuring tape
* Hammer and nails
* Drill with spade bit
1. Measure the pieces of wood you’ll need: 4 sides, a top and a bottom piece. Use this video as a reference for the dimensions.
2. Using the saw, cut your pieces of wood.
3. With the drill, cut a hole using the spade bit.
4. Nail all the pieces together except the top piece.
5. Add the nails to the back piece, sticking out a little bit. These will be used to tie the box to a tree.
6. Using the string, tie both pieces to the nails and then around the tree.
7. Finally, add the top piece and don’t forget a rock to hold it in place.
Obviously, this activity needs adult supervision. However, this is the perfect opportunity to discuss how to be safe around tools while getting in some family-bonding time!
How To: Make Bird Treats
* Muffin pan or any small recyclable container
* 250 g unsalted shortening
* 200 g wheat flour
* 200 g unsalted nuts, chopped
* 100 g sunflower seeds, chopped
1.Heat the shortening until liquid.
2. In a bowl, mix the liquid shortening, flour, nuts and sunflower seeds.
3. Spoon mixture into the muffin pan or containers.
4. Add a piece of string (long enough to be able to tie the treat on a string).
5. Press and flatten each one.
6. Leave cups in a cold environment for at least 3 hours. The bird treats should be hardened when set. Don’t take them out before they are hardened!
7. Take the bird treats out. Using a butter knife to slide along the edge can help to get them out easier.
8. Hang them on a tree outside and watch the birds enjoy their treat!
While you are waiting for the treats to set, it’s the perfect time to plan ahead for our final bird activity. Keep reading for more info.
Bird Watching as a Family
Now that you’ve given your friendly local birdies a place to rest and some treats to snack on, you should know exactly which birds might be flying into your B&B&B—Bird & Bed & Breakfast!
No matter where you are around the globe, we’ve found this excellent website to let you know what bird species are around you. Just head on over to https://ebird.org/explore and you can either search by species or by region.
At first, you might want to remind your little ones that birdies are sometimes hard to spot. However, they are easy to hear. So, have them close their eyes and focus on their singing. For more chances to spot a bunch of birds, stick to areas near water.
This activity can be done multiple times throughout the year since some species tend to migrate during the coldest months of the year. That means, the birdies you’ll see in the winter aren’t necessarily the same that will be stopping by in the summertime.
Let us know in the comments below what birds you were able to spot and send us photos of your nesting boxes on Facebook or Instagram.