Little Twitchers: 29 – 31 January

Bird watching isn’t often seen as a Little People hobby. But hear me out. There’s all sorts of crafts to enjoy to feed & house the birds, gorgeous images of birds to play spot the difference and then, when a bird is close, a beautiful quiet might just descend. Imagine that!

If ever there were ever a need to feel more connected to nature it is now. With screens, home learning, working from home and the never ending ‘juggle’ causing stress levels to go through the roof for all family members being in nature is the answer. There’s mounds of research showing us that:

Children who are connected to nature have better health, higher satisfaction with life, and pro-environment behaviors.

childrenandnature.org

and if you’re contending with remote learning then you might have another legitimate reason to pause for a bit and head outside:

Spending time in nature enhances educational outcomes by improving children academic performace, focus, behaviour, and love of learning.

childrenandnature.org

We recon these are pretty worthwhile reasons to get outdoors with the kids. If you’re after something a bit different to a walk, and with this miserable weather fancy something that can be done indoors while also connecting to nature then the end of January gives us the opportunity to take part in an organised ‘Bird Garden Birdwatch’ organised by RSPB.

Big Garden Birdwatch

Be quick and sign up to receive everything you need to take part through the post (what child doesn’t like receiving post!) or download if you’d rather/don’t have time. There’s a poster of the bird you’re most likely to see. The idea is to enjoy an hour at any point over the 29 – 31 January with nature and discover the wildlife on your doorstep by birdwatching.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/

Bird feeders for kids

To spark the little one’s interest in birds, and to encourage the birds into your garden/outside space, then why not start off with crafting a bird feeder? There are so many different styles – a great activity for children of all ages.

Hoops on pipecleaners

Super simple. Give your toddler a bowl of hoops to thread onto a pipecleaner and then hang in the tree. Pipecleaners are best as they are rigid so easy for little hands to control and thread the hoop, but anything will do – string, ribbon, twine. Great to practise fine motor skills, pincer grip, hand eye coordination which are all pre-writing skills. They will also love the snack – expect a ratio of 1 for the birds : 6 for the toddler or thereabouts!

Pine Cone Feeder

Hands on and messy. A great one for preschoolers.

You will need:
A pine cone, bird seed, nut butter and some implements to push the nut butter into the layers of the pine cone (we liked a flexible baby spoon and a pastry brush the best).

  1. Spread peanut butter over the pine cone – try and get as far in all the nooks as you can (heating the peanut butter a little can make it a little easier to work with)
  2. Dip the peanut butter pine cone in the bird seed – give it a really good coating
  3. Tie some twine around the bottom of the pine cone long enough to be able to tie around a tree’s branch
  4. Viola – a beautiful natural bird feeder. (Please be sure not to hang these in a public location to keep children with nut allergies safe.)
Simply Wood

The fabulous Devon company Simply Wood creates gorgeous wooden project kits especially designed for kids to make. Cue real wood, real nails, real tools – real making and real pride too. Perfect for this are bird feeders and houses. Read our review of our gifted bird feeder here. Simply Wood are also kind enough to offer our readers a Little Devon Discount of 10% too. Just mention LittleDevon10 when placing an order.

Other bird inspired ideas

There’s lots of other fab ideas here https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-kids/

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