Stock up on bird seed and grab a pair of binoculars! Whether you live in the country or in the city, you can have fun learning about wildlife in your own backyard. Here are some bird activities for kids to you started.
- Make Your Own Bird Feeder. Kids can make their own bird feeder using a pine cone that has been covered in peanut butter (or any other kind of nut butter) and rolled in bird seed. Hang it from a branch with some yarn and watch the birds fly in to feast! Here is a list of many different ways to make your own bird feeders! (http://nurturestore.co.uk/how-to-make-a-bird-feeder)
- Make Your Own Suet Cakes During the winter months, birds benefit from a little extra fat in their diet to help them stay warm. Suet provides this extra needed fat. You can make your own suet cakes and use up the lard fat that is always left over after cooking beef. Simply warm up the beef lard until it turns into liquid and mix it with some bird seed. Then pour it into a pan and when it cools you will have suet “cakes”. Here is one set of instructions for making homemade suet cakes (She doesn’t use beef fat, but she gives you the recipe and the exact amounts of each ingredient. Just use your beef lard instead of substituting for the pre-packaged stuff.) I love that now you can actually do something with all that leftover fat!
- Make observations in your front yard. Take notes and listen to different bird calls. Certain birds like certain foods. Try adding something new to your bird food mix and see if you can attract a new bird species. What kind of birds do small seeds attract? What kind of birds and do peanuts attract? Here is a free printable bird watching book that your kids can use to keep track of the different birds that they observe.
- Create a bird collage. For an art project, kids can draw or photograph the different birds they see, then they can make a collage using the different pictures.
- Make a feathery bird mask. Check out this link for instructions and templates to make your own bird masks: http://housefulofhandmade.blogspot.com/2010/09/goofy-bird-masks.html.
- Get Crafty Making Some Cute Baby Birds In A Nest. Kids can make this cute baby birds in a nest craft out of paper, yarn, feathers, googly eyes, and a little glue! Here a link to this craft on BuggyandBuddy.com
- Design a Paper Airplane Bird. Fold a paper airplane and color it to look like a bird of your choice, for example and eagle, parrot, or raven. Experiment by cutting your paper airplane birds into different shapes. Give some birds shorter wings, give some longer beaks. Then test out your bird’s flying abilities and see which bird flies the farthest, spins, ect.
- Build a Birdhouse. There are many templates online and instructions on how to make your very own birdhouse to put in your backyard. Here are some instructions on building a bird house from scratch. For an easier option, you can purchase a birdhouse kit online and put the pieces together as a family project. Click here for a birdhouse kit you can buy on Amazon.Com
- Go on a Bird Watching Walk. Take a walk around with your kids around your home neighborhood or their school, and have them make observations. Carry a clipboard and some paper so you can take notes and draw pictures of any birds that you see.
- Visit your local Parks. Kids can observe many animals, including local bird species at state and national parks. Let them use a bird book to identify the different bird species – here is one you can buy on Amazon.com: National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
See if they can recognize the different birds by the sound they make. They can take notes of how the birds behave in their natural habitat.
- Make a Bird Bath. Use plant pots to make a bird bath. Click here for instructions on how to make a bird bath with flower pots. Then watch as the birds gather to clean themselves and take a drink.
- Plant a Tree as a Family Activity so the birds will have a place to hang out!
- Get Kids Involved in documenting the birds they see in the area. Kids can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count by following this link!
- Make a Birds Nest Craft using items collected on a nature walk such as twigs, leaves, string, buds, and flowers. Check out this This Nature Walk Bird Nest Craft on ActivitiesForKids.com
- Build a Nesting Box for Birds. You can attract birds to your home or child’s school and encourage them to nest by building a nesting box. Here are five tips for nesting box success brought to you by the National Wildlife Federation.
- Learn to Identify And Make Bird Calls. On SongBirdGarden.com, kids can listen to recorded bird calls of common and uncommon backyard birds. Follow this link to listen to the sounds of a variety of different bird calls. With a little practice, kids will be able to identify birds with their eyes closed and maybe even attract a few bird with some calls of their own!
- Make a Bunt Cake Pan Bird Feeder. Recycle an old bunt cake pan by turning it into a bird feeder that all feathered friends will love! Here are the instructions for making a recycled bunt cake pan bird feeder.
- Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat for Birds and other Wildlife. Help kids create a habitat for birds and other wildlife and have it certified by the National Wildlife Federation. It’s easy to do! Simply create an area that provides food, water, shelter, and is pesticide free, then register it with the National Wildlife Federation. The instructions can be found on the National Wildlife Federation’s website: http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Create-a-Habitat.aspx
- Bird-Themed Sensory Bin Play. Fill a sensory table with bird seed and add some bird figurines. Add feathers, a bird house, some plastic eggs, and a toy nest. If you don’t have a sensory table, you can simply use a shallow plastic bin or tub. Inspiration for this bird-themed sensory play activity provided by MyNearestAndDearest.com.
- Complete The Bird Watching Activity Challenge. Print out the following list of bird watching activities and cross each activity off the list after it is completed. Here is the list: TLC’s Bird Watching Activities for Kids. Did you finish them all already? If so, congratulations, you are a bird watching master!
Have an activity you want to share? We would love to hear it! Leave a comment below!