Spring has sprung, and nobody is happier about it then our feathered friends. This is the time of year when songbirds are at their most active. They’re making nests, singing their little hearts out, and strutting their stuff for their mates. You’ve probably seen birds of all kinds flying back and forth with nest-ready twigs and fluff in their beaks.
All in all, it’s a great time to teach the kids about the natural world through a bit of bird-watching.
Bird-watching is a great activity to do with kids. It gets them outdoors, it’s cheap, and it’s relatively easy. Here’s how to get your budding ornithologists set up for a spring of bird-watching.
Get a bird guide
You don’t have to look far to find great bird guides aimed at kids. Bookshops are full of them. If your brood are more digitally inclined, you can download them an app like ‘First Birds’ from the RSPB. Make sure that whatever guide you go for is simple, has good illustrations, and contains the kinds of birds your kids are likely to see in their area. For younger children, bird watching sticker books can be a lot of fun.
Buy some child binoculars
You don’t need binoculars to spot birds, but they help. Plus, your kids are more likely to engage with the activity if they get cool pieces of kit to help them out. You’ll need to make sure that the binoculars are light enough for little hands to hold, but sturdy enough to withstand some knocks!
Both for your kids and the birds! It’s important that your children know to be quiet when watching birds so that they don’t scare them off. Also teach them to behave respectfully around eggs and baby birds. Birds are cute, but even the smallest ones can be feisty when provoked! It’s also important that they understand how to be safe near water, and not to wander out of your sight (no matter how cool that bird in the trees way over there may look!)
Get out there
Having covered the bases, it’s time to get out there are spot some birds. Whether you hit a national park, a playing field, or even just pop into your own garden, there are plenty of places where you can find birds. If you don’t want to go far, why not get a bird feeder and encourage your child to fill it with tasty birdseed? This is a great way to attract birds, and makes your children (rightly) feel like they’re doing something to help out the environment.
It can be difficult to tear our kids away from their screens and get them into the great outdoors. Bird watching is a fantastic way to encourage our kids to engage with nature and to teach them about the world they live in. Who knows? You may even learn something yourself!