Bird Watching for Kids: Tips and tools
In the present era of technology, connecting with nature no longer comes naturally to kids. Fortunately, you can connect your kids with nature by teaching them bird watching. Nature can enrich their lives with multiple colors, sounds, and sights. You can choose from plenty of simple habits to nurture their connection with nature.
Bird watching is an exciting hobby that can easily evolve into a lifelong passion. Luckily, bird watching or birding doesn’t require a hefty tool kit or practice to get started.
Tools to consider for bird watching for kids
Many people across the globe consider birdwatching an enjoyable and relaxing hobby. Even though you can do birding with the naked eye as well, however, being prepared with the right equipment can add more fun to your birding experience.
Let's look at the tools you must have for bird watching for kids.
So, here we go:
- Binoculars: Perhaps, binoculars are the most useful and essential tool for bird watching for kids. Without it, kids can’t see the real beauty of birds sitting high in the trees.
- Backpack: A backpack is another tool to consider, especially when birding in outdoor settings. You can use it to keep all the essentials and bird-watching tools to stay hand-free in the field.
- Binocular harness: Another highly suggested bird watching tool is a binocular harness that will let you carry your binoculars with comfort.
- Pen and notebook: These tools are essential for your kids to note their observations.
- Field guide: Watching birds in their natural habitat is always more beautiful and fun. This practice can enrich your kid's bird-watching experience by identifying birds easily. You can consider having a field guide to classify birds per description and illustrations. Always consider investing in a field guide that’s meant for your area.
- Spotting scope: If your kids want to see extremely far away birds in the sky, you’ll likely have a spotting scope in your bird watching kit for kids. Spotting scope is always useful for getting a more detailed view of birds. Consequently, your kids will better identify them.
- Camera: Many birding lovers love taking their cameras with them on their excursions. You can also consider bringing a smartphone or camera to capture some shots of the birds. These shots will certainly help you to identify them later.
Tips for bird watching for kids
Bird watching is arguably the simplest and most fun way to learn about birds. Therefore, this can be a lucrative activity to engage your kids. However, if you don't know how to start the activity, here are a few tips for you. Considering these tips would certainly help you enjoy more.
So, here we go:
Invest in the best bird-watching books
Birds watching is an interesting hobby for you to take your kids out around the year. This statement is truer for the fall and spring months. Before taking your kids to outdoor settings for bird watching, pique their interest in this activity with a good book.
Go to a bookstore or library and bring some books to introduce the types and behaviors of birds to your little ones.
Let your kids learn about the common birds.
Birding can be a more exciting, satisfying, and intriguing experience for kids when they know what they are looking at. So, you must share some information about the everyday bird to tell them about the most frequent fliers.
Plan to go bird watching.
After making your kids learn about birds and bird watching, it’s time to plan and take them on a bird watching expedition. Even though you may find various birds around your living, greener places are always the best for an amazing birding experience. Any neighborhood with plenty of trees or a local park can be a good place to start.
Choose an adequate time or day.
It is always better to choose a day or time of the day when the weather isn't too hot or rainy. Put up sturdy running shoe pair for you and your kids. Put a cap, pack your bird watching essentials into the backpack, and take a water bottle and snacks.
You can decide any day of the week for bird watching. However, considering an early morning session on the weekend can be an ideal time to consider.
Always Practice safety precautions.
Even though bird watching is an exciting and simple hobby, there are some precautions that you should take, especially when you are venturing to an unknown location for bird watching with kids.
- Always ensure to keep all your and your kids’ belonging safe during the bird watching expedition.
- If you are heading to a heavily wooded area, always keep an eye on animals and reptiles.
- Don’t forget to watch out for any plants that may cause an allergic reaction in your kids.
- Above all, teach your children not to get lost while following the birds.
It is always better to keep a whistle in every backpack when you are birding with friends and family. Teach your little ones to blow a whistle if they are left behind or go off-track anyway. This practice will make it easier to keep them all connected and safe.
Ask your kids to record their observations.
When watching a bird, ask your kids to stay as quiet as possible to observe the birds better. Then ask about kids question about what they experienced. For instance, ask about the colors of the bird, what the bird was doing, its sound, and more.
Record all the observations and label them with a date. Don’t forget to take a picture of your kids every time they go bird watching.
Bird watching is a fun activity for adults, but this activity is great and educational as well for kids. This pastime activity you can enjoy with your whole family, including kids. However, here we have compiled a list of tools and tips that you can consider to help your kids get started with bird watching.
Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay
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