Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Summertime Projects to Promote Family Learning and Bonding - Part 2

Project #2 - All Natural Birdfeeders

By helping your kids build a series of all natural birdfeeders, your family can enjoy a hands-on activity together.  The best part about this is that it will also give your kids the opportunity to study the habits of different bird species and learn how they interact.  To make the bird feeders, first help your child securely tie 4 feet of twine to the top of 5 different pinecones (if you don’t have pinecones in your area, you can use the rind from grapefruit cut in half, just attach the twine on either side so it will hang like a bowl).  Then, for each pinecone mix peanut butter, and a different food that birds will like in separate bowls.  For example, you can cover the different cones with cheerios, oatmeal, granola, and different types of bird seed.  After you have mixed each recipe, roll the pine cone around in it until it is totally covered (or fill up the grapefruit rinds with the mixes), note which feeder contains which food, and hang all of your feeders next to each other.

By keeping an eye on the different feeders, you and your children can observe which foods attract which types of birds.  If you need help identifying the birds, a local bird guide from your library or online can be a great help.  As your children continue to observe them, they may notice that certain birds come at certain times of the day, or even prefer cheerios for breakfast and birdseed for dessert!  Another exciting thing to watch out for is what happens when multiple birds are at the same feeder.  Some will probably share the space, others will fly away, and some may even squawk, squabble and skirmish to take control.  After a few weeks of observing all of these hungry visitors, your children may get great at identifying the different species that visit your yard, and even learn all about the different birds’ habits.

This post was written by Ryan, who loves reviewing Broadway shows for kids, camping, and observing animals in nature.

 

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