Written By: Sarah Girton
One of the beauties of birding is that it appeals to all age groups. Lots of kids love animals, and that is how a lot of adults in animal-related fields got their start! It is so rewarding and so important to teach kids our the natural world so that they can grow into humans that not only appreciate the earth, but can learn to be good stewards of the planet as well.
If you have been looking for ideas to get your kids more interested in the joyful hobby that is birding, we’ve compiled a few fun suggestions that are sure to get their inner birder to shine through!
- Create a Scavenger Hunt
Keep kids entertained and engaged on out nature walks by turning bird watching into themed scavenger hunts. Spotting nests or nesting cavities (from safe distances — never leave designated trails!), specific bird species, identifying possible bird-friendly food sources, evidence of woodpeckers or other birds who have pecked into wood for sap and bugs. The options are endless!
You could even find or create a bingo board with these same ideas. Here is an online template you could use to create something unique just for you and the kiddos! https://myfreebingocards.com/bingo-card-generator
2. Get Crafty!
There are so many fun crafts and projects, both in our store and online, that you can enjoy with your kids as they have fun while learning at the same time. Bird house and bird feeder kits are a good way to get kids working with their hands, and it can be a great bonding activity as well.
If you’re looking for something quick and easy, here are a few fun links. The first one is instructions to create a simple pine cone bird feeder, and the second is a link to lots of fun coloring pages that feature birds!
Pine Cone Bird Feeder:
Bird Coloring Pages:
3. Feed the Birds
Aside from all of the enjoyment that comes with feeding birds, it’s also a great opportunity to bond with your kids and to teach them about the different species of birds that you’re seeing. Keep a guide book by the window for easy identification, and talk with your kids about who the birds are, what they like to eat, their behaviors, and other fun facts.
4. Watch TV!
There are so many fun bird and nature themed documentaries and YouTube channels that have informative videos for kids. A few of my favorite YouTube channels that have great bird content are Lesley the Bird Nerd, Birds Walking Down, BBC Earth, Cornell Lab Bird Cams, MyBackyardBirding, TheHumanBirdFeeder, and ZooBorns.
Disney+ and Netflix also have tons of great nature documentaries.
5. Go to the Zoo
If you visit an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited zoo, you will learn all about the huge variety of animals they have, and you will also be supporting their mission when you buy tickets, food, and other merchandise! Nothing compares to being able to see these magnificent animals in person, and it can jump-start a life long love of animals.
I’d love to hear more suggestions from you about how to get kids interested in birding! Leave your ideas below and we can definitely create a similar post in the future with your ideas!
Also just as a PS…Wild Birds Unlimited of Colorado Springs is in the middle of our long-awaited move to our newer, bigger, and better location (2450 Montebello Square), so we won’t be able to keep this blog as updated for the next few weeks. But we have so many fun things planned, both for the blog and for the new space! So until then, happy birding and we will see you in a few weeks!