Here at Bird Kids, our motto is “inspired by nature” and we’re always looking for ways to get our kids outside and exploring everything that nature has to offer. Today, we’re going to show you three ways that will open your children’s eye so the wonderful world outdoors and teach them some interesting new facts and skills. Be a nature detective. We’ve spoken about being a nature detective before, in our blog about the Wildlife Trust, but I think it should definitely be mentioned here. You can be a nature detective in your garden, at the park or at your local forest. You and your kids could collect nuts, berries and pinecones and look for where animals have been nibbling them, or sit quietly and try to identify the sounds of different animals. As well as birds, you might be able to hear grasshoppers or even animals in the undergrowth. Why not search for nesting holes at the base of trees and guess who lives there, or look for nests high in the trees? Finally, try looking carefully under fallen leaves or logs to see where various creepy crawlies have made their home. Guess the age of a tree. As a child, I always found is fascinating to try and get my head around just how old some trees could be. To tell the age of a tree, all you need is a flexible tape measure. Then, measure around the tree about four or five feet from the ground. Just make sure that this part of the tree isn’t much larger or smaller than the rest. Once you have the measurement in centimetres, you simply divide it by what is known as its growth factor and you have the age in years! Here are the growth factors of some of the UK’s most common trees:
  • Oak: 2
  • Sycamore: 2.75
  • Holly: 1.25
  • Pine or Spruce: 3.25
  • Elm, Ash or Beech: 2.5
Make your garden a haven for birds. Wild birds are a joy to watch, and making your garden bird-friendly is a great task for you and your children to do together. You can make food balls by mixing sunflower seeds, dried fruit, grated cheese and lard then squishing it all together. Then, pop it into a yoghurt pot and hang it from a tree. Also, be sure to provide a shallow dish of water. Not only will birds like to drink from this, but they will also use it to bathe. Most people don’t do this for wild birds so it will really benefit the feathered population. Finally, be sure to keep any birds that do visit safe and healthy by cleaning out any feeding and nesting areas and making sure that they’re out of reach of foxes and cats. These simple ideas are sure to get your children thinking about nature and the world around them. The best part is that, apart from the bird food, they’re all completely free. Why not share your own tips for getting children involved with nature? You can post a comment below, or join us over on Facebook, Twitter and now Google+!
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