Birding With Kids- How To Turn Your Children Into Keen Birdwatchers!
Last month, we were involved with the Murston HeArt Children’s Festival, where we organised an activity to get children into birding. We set them the challenge of identifying different bird breeds, and their answers were quite interesting…
Every child successfully identified many of the common breeds, including the robin, pigeon, seagull and magpie.
But some mistook the blackbird for a starling, and a crow for a raven. Surprisingly, the blue tit was the bird kids struggled to identify- many thought it was a kingfisher!
They loved the task, and it was rewarding for them to learn more about the birds, especially those they couldn’t identify. Birding is an enriching task for children and adults alike, so we’re going to run through our top tips for getting the kids on board!
Help them learn!
Arm yourself with a birding guide to help you identify the different bird breeds. Make sure it’s filled with bite-size facts for your kids to learn and remember! The RSPB have a free online bird guide and a huge range of nature books on their website.
Give them a task to complete
If they’re creative, you could get them to draw a picture of their favourite bird. Or, perhaps they could write and recite an acrostic poem or a short story about a bird they see. Giving the kids something tangible to do with their new birding knowledge will make it more stimulating for them, and allow them to exercise their creativity too!
Hand Over The Binoculars
Giving kids a small, cheap pair of binoculars will make birding feel special, and different to a usual day out. It will also help them to see the birds more closely, which will give them a better understanding of the individual markings and colours found on various breeds.
Let Them Lead The Way
Put your children in charge, by walking in the direction they choose and letting them discuss what they see freely. Listening to their thoughts will allow you to answer their questions and teach them more about what interests them. Plus, it will give them a sense of ownership, which will make the hobby stick!
Bring Birding Home!
Once children have got the birding bug, encourage them to head to their garden for inspiration. Putting feeders out will allow them to see how nature works all around us, and give them a closer look at the smaller birds more commonly found within the garden.
How do you get your kids involved with birding? Let us know in the comments!