Birds Outdoor Activities
Keep a Bird Journal
As you learn about birds you may wish to keep a journal together, or one each. Our Field Guide to Birds has a printable journal, or you can make your own. You can make a journal by simply folding pages of paper in half and attaching them with an elastic band, stitching or paper clips. Some ideas of things you may wish to include in your journal are:
Simple Bird Watching
Enjoy the simple pleasure of watching birds. Noticing a bird nearby, stopping to observe, quietly watching and keeping very still are all skills to learn for young children. Before considering binoculars or identifications, consider the basic skills of how to observe birds and other creatures. There is also the skill of listening to our surroundings. You can pause when you hear birds calling and take note of their songs, perhaps you will even learn to identify some birds by their call.
Finding and Identifying Feathers
Start a collection of feathers and take the time to see what you can learn about each feather. Consider where you found it – at the beach, in the park, at a farm? Consider the size and colour and patterning. Is there anything you can figure out by looking at it? Does this feather belong to a sea bird? Or a small garden bird? After using your own nature study skills, you could use additional resources such as books, identification guides and websites.
Make birdfeeders and bird baths
There are many ways to provide food and water for the birds. Perhaps you have your own outside space where you can hang a bird feeder or perhaps you have access to a shared outside space, such as a park or green space where you can feed the birds. Feeding the ducks at the local canal or park is a fond pastime for many families, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about the birds.
You can also make your own bird feeders to hang up. There are many varieties – a ‘fat ball’ made from fats and seeds packed together into a ball shape, or packed into a hanging dish such as half a coconut shell, half an orange or whatever else you can find to use. There are wooden bird table that can become a craft project, you can simply drill a hole in each corner of a piece of wood, and suspend with string from the drilled holes.
Spend time researching different bird feeders and baths and how and why they can be helpful for birds. Different birds prefer different foods and so this can become part of your research and observations. Once the birds start coming to feed from the feeders you will have lots more opportunities for observing and building relationships.
Be a Bird!
Get playful in your bird studies and pretend to be a bird! We have masks in our Field Guide to Birds and we encourage you to also make your own. Be creative making masks and wings and tails. Perhaps you will cut out feather shapes to stick onto a mask, or create a cape to act as the wings. Remember, your child’s imagination holds no bounds and they can see things that you cannot. Allow your child the freedom to delve into the imagination, explore the movements and feeling of being a bird. They may just soar!