5 Tips for Birdwatching with Kids

Birdwatching might not seem like the perfect hobby, especially if you plan on doing it with your kids, but the truth is far from that. This is one of the best ways to spend time in the open and explore nature more thoroughly than ever before, and it’s also an amazing way to learn new things about the world. However, before you introduce your children to bird watching, you need to understand the basics yourself, so here are five tips that might help you in the process.

Start small
Unfortunately, unlike sports or reading, this isn’t a hobby every child is going to love, which is why you have to start small and stick to your own backyard at first. It’s probably already full of different birds, but if it isn’t, you can always build a few bird feeders on your own.

These won’t be too costly nor will it take too much of your time to make them, but they will attract lots of birds into your backyard and get your children interested in birdwatching as well. Once you show them how interesting this hobby can be in an environment they already know and feel comfortable in, you can move on to other areas and other birds.

Encourage them to read

In order to encourage your kids to learn more about birds, you should give them proper books that will show them how versatile and exciting birds can be. Reading about all those birds they’ve already seen in their backyard and learning about others can be motivating and get them instantly hooked on bird watching.

You should also watch movies with them that explore various aspects of this hobby, and teach them things you think they’ll find interesting. That way, they’ll be able to see that bird watching is far from boring and is actually something they could explore on their own.

Get proper equipment
Once you move your bird watching sessions with your kids from your backyard into the wilderness, it’s time to get some proper equipment as well. You can’t expect them to spot all those birds on their own, can you?
The first thing you need is a pair of strong binoculars that will be used by your children only – giving these to them as a present will make them appreciate them even more and enjoy using them day after day. After that, get them a small camera they can record their discoveries with, as well as a journal for writing down all the birds they see.

Turn it into a game

The best way to get kids interested in anything is by turning it into a game – from sports to school activities, this is a sure way to make them participate and do their best in whatever you ask them to do.

So, introduce a spirit of competitiveness into bird watching as well and challenge them to a rivalry: who can spot the most birds in one day, who can take the best picture and who can name all the birds they see. This way, your children are going to want to improve their birdwatching skills and will become interested in this hobby more than before, and that’s something every parent wants.

Keep a journal
Encouraging your kids to write down everything they know about birds in a journal and adding a few drawings in there as well as another wonderful way to make them develop their birdwatching skills. Keeping a birding journal is something all enthusiasts do, and if your children start one as well, they’ll also start considering themselves experts, and that’s the way to become even more committed than before.

Some of the things they should keep in their journal include the names of the bird species they notice, their habitat, appearance, and behavior, as well as the place and date they spotted them and their general impressions of these particular birds, so start with these and inspire your kids to get as creative as possible.

Getting your children interested in an unusual hobby is never easy, but if you opt for birdwatching, you can be sure they’ll not only be entertained but also learn a thing or two about the world around them, and that’s always good.

1 comment:

  1. great list of ideas! i would have loved having my own pair of special binoculars for birdwatching and making it into a game with my brother like we did searching for cars on the road.

    Joy at http://www.thejoyousliving.com