A wise person once said “There’s no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.” And this is so true when it comes to sharing the joy of nature with kids in winter.
Getting kids outside is very important all year round, but it can be kind of a challenge in winter. Still, there are many ways to share the wonder of the natural world, even in winter.
Winter is also a wonderful time to teach kids about the birds that come to visit our backyards.
I have a heated dog bowl that I use to keep fresh water available for my birds throughout the coldest winter days. Because the birds are lined up here all day, it’s an easy place for your kids to be able to start to notice what makes birds different. They will soon know the difference between a Robin, a Cardinal, and a sparrow.
You can also make pine cone bird feeders and hang them close enough to the house that your kids can learn about each of the birds that comes in for a snack.
Building a brush pile from Christmas trees is great outdoor fun, and also provides shelter and perching places for the birds in your garden.
Add bird-attracting plants to your wildlife garden, so that the birds will come to eat and stay longer. It’s easy for your kids to spot the birds if they’re sitting still eating a berry.
Join your local Audubon at Home program, and learn how to bring more birds into your garden for you and your children to enjoy.
There are many Citizen Science Projects that you can sign up for with your children. For example, Project Feeder Watch happens during the winter, and you and your kids can participate by counting the numbers of different birds that show up at your feeders.
Bundle up your children and take them for a hike in a local park. They’ll start to notice the birds there, too.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
How do you share the wonders of nature with your kids in winter?
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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