Learning about the birds that visit your garden can be a great way to connect with your child or grandchild. As well as spending quality time with them, it will also get them outside and learning about nature. We have put together some helpful suggestions on how to get your kids interested in wild birds!
Visit the Library/Research Online
You can get hold of lots of books that will help identify birds from your local library, or try online. Kids love to learn about new things and once you have introduced them to wild birds they will want to learn more and help to look after them. Birds like the Robin draw more attention from children, more than likely due to its association with Christmas.
Choosing the Seeds
As a start you can get them just filling up the bird feeders. Allowing them to choose the mix of seeds is always a good idea. They will learn which birds enjoy what feed and can adapt over time to attract certain birds. Introduce new seeds such as nyger seed or sunflower hearts and see what difference they make. When you get new birds visiting because of the seed your child has chosen it will be a huge win for them.
Wild Bird Stake Out
A fun activity for both yourself and the children is to keep watch through the window to see what birds arrive. Stock up on snacks and a bird book to identify the visitors. A comfy pillow is a must as you could spend a while waiting, but when the birds arrive it will be worth it for the look on your little one’s face.
Make Bird Feeders
Building a bird feeder or bird house is always a fun activity. The builds can be as detailed or simple as they like. You can find loads of templates and designs online to help with the build, but it is often more fun to design and build the feeder yourself from scratch. When the children see the feeder they built getting used by the birds it will fill them with pride and enjoyment.
Make Suet at Home
Making suet feeds are a lot easier than you think. All you need is some lard, any kind of seeds and possibly some nuts or mealworms. To make fat balls, just allow the lard to get to room temperature and then with your hands mix all the fat, seeds, nuts and mealworm together (this is a sticky job the kids will love). Mould into a ball and place in the fridge to cool. These can be placed on a bird table or in a fat ball feeder. If you have a left over coconut shell then you can stuff the suet into it and then attach a hook so that you can hang it up and you have your own hanging feeder.
Wild Bird Bingo
You could also play games such as wild bird bingo, come up with a list of birds and then whoever spots the birds on the bingo card first wins. Or why not set a competition such as which birds seed mix will be the most popular. Come up with a few mixes and see which one the birds prefer.
Whatever you do, try not to make it to much like school, allow the children to do what they feel is best and when they get results they will gain a lot more self belief. Above all, enjoy the time spent with them knowing that you are also helping our wild birds.