If you are looking for something fun to do with your family on weekends, but are tired of the usual activities, why not try nature for a change, such as bird watching? Yep, if bringing those kids to the wilderness once in a while means dragging them out off the couch and from television set or their video games should be fine, right? Bird watching with kids might also inspire them to care more for the environment.
Introduce your kids to bird watching slowly. You can start with the birds that visit your backyard. What you can do is provide some sort of bird feeders to attract some birds and voila, you can have as much fun as you will have in amusement parks or in the movies. Beginning with the local bird species will also help your young ones to get familiar with the different species of American birds. They get to learn the various animals (which incidentally are almost always located in Africa such as lions, elephants, tigers) from television and from school but are unable to identify an American robin.
To get your quality time dubbed backyard adventure dubbed scientific study rolling, you will have to prepare basically two very important equipments. First, a good bird guide is necessary. You will have to get something that you kids will understand, of course. A simple, highly illustrated, richly colored bird guide will do. You don’t have to be comprehensive. You can settle with books talking about local species and eventually move up to the more all-embracing field guide as your kid’s interest and knowledge grow.
A good guide will also teach children what they should or should not do in different situations like when they find a bird’s nest, bird’s eggs and even newly hatched chicks. Part of the guide’s responsibility is to spur interest on birds and nature, if possible. A challenging job for a guide, but as parents you have a share to that responsibility as well.
The second important thing that you will need would be a good pair of binoculars. You can find binoculars for kids in the market. You might want to think of settling for those kinds so your kid can properly hold them. They might find it difficult to hold the big ones. Another option would be to position the binoculars to focus on the bird feeders and then mount it on a tripod so your kid doesn’t need to hold it.
Be wary of your clothes as well. Be aware that you would have to wait for some time, if you’re in your backyard, or walk a considerable distance if you’re backyard is a ranch, farm, or forested area, before you a bird sighting.
But walking, waiting and watching the birds feed and fly away in your backyard is not the only activity that you and you kid can do. You need to engage your kids to other bird related activities to keep them interested. Other activities include making bird feeders, a bird house, or creating a bird journal.
Bird watching is also a good opportunity to introduce your kid to other skills like photography or illustrating. Bird watching with your kids is a great activity that can be vital to your child’s development. It is an interesting and engaging project that, in my opinion, should be practiced by all parents.