There is nothing more enjoyable than eating breakfast and watching birds flutter and dance outside the kitchen window on a snowy morning. Unfortunately, while children often wonder at the birds and wish to take part in helping to feed them, there is rarely anything a child can do to help. Here are a couple of suggestions to help them get involved and to let them make their own special bird feeders.
Most children hate eating crusts of bread, but birds love them. Next time, rather than tossing the crust, hand them over to your child with a pencil or straw and have them poke a hole through the slices, about 1 inch from the top. If they wish, food coloring can be used to lightly dab some color on their bread slices, letting them make special designs for their bird friends. The bread should then be left to sit on the counter overnight so that it will dry out. The next day, thread a piece of yarn through them, hang the bread from the branches of a nearby tree and watch feathered friends flock to their new bird feeders.
With a string of yarn, a straw, and some Cheerios, even small children can help create these fun bird feeders. Take the yarn (about 24 inches works well) and tie it around the middle of the straw. This will provide a base, allowing your child to thread the yarn through the cereal, not only making an effective bird feeder, but helping develop motor skills. When they have threaded the cereal up to the top, carefully hold the top of the string and then untie the bottom from the straw. Knot the two of these ends together, forming a circlet of cereal, which can be hung outside as a great bird snack. This can also be done using different colored fruit cereals, helping your child with repetitive pattern exercises.
Letting your child become more involved in tasks like this, not only helps them learn but gives them a sense of responsibility as well. Have them keep track of how long it takes for their homemade bird feeders, so they know when it will be time to make more. Have them make charts or draw pictures of what kinds of birds come to their feeders and let them look through books, to identify who their new feathered friends are. Not only will the birds thank you, but your kids will have a great time too.
James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher
covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest. Read more at www.birdfeeders-guide.info