In the last year, we have been finding ourselves becoming more of a birding family. It’s not something that I had a tremendous amount of interest in before we had Tomato. But, watching the world through her eyes and seeing her joy in learning about birds has certainly turned us around.
Birding is something that you can start in your own backyard with window feeders, putting scraps of yarn out for nests, and setting up homes and feeders for your avian friends to visit. I just cleaned out our feeders this weekend and am looking forward to filling them with seed so that we can attract some new friends.
Birding is easily expanded into parks and forests in your area and is an inexpensive hobby for any family to take up. A set of binoculars, a decent bird guide, and some seed is all that you need. Another benefit to birding is that it is a year round affair. Between the weather and migration patterns, you can see a whole host of species come through your area.
The educational benefits for children is endless. Children can discuss colors, names of species, size differences, song differences, and when you see which types of birds. We’ve recently had a hawk show up in our neighborhood and between that and the new turkey buzzard, we’ve delved into a whole new level of conversation about what birds eat!
Recently, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council teamed up to issue the Discover the Forest’s Get Your Community Outdoors Challenge. My proposal is to get our MOMS Club children each a set of binoculars and a birding guide book. The $1000 grant could also help us to take some field trips to the Cape May migration area and the John James Audubon Center in Pennsylvania. The $500 airline gift card could go towards visiting a National Park that has birds that we don’t normally see in our area. It would provide us with a great opportunity to add a new element to outdoor playdates within our group and help children enjoy the subtleties of nature.
So, please take a moment to head over to Goodmaker between November 14 and November 30, 2012 to vote for my idea! We’d really enjoy the excitement that the kids would have and the learning opportunities that it could garner for them. Thanks!!