Welcome to April edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama. This month’s topic is “Celebrating Our Earth – Green Living”. Please scroll down to the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants. Enjoy!
Early one morning Pip and I looked out the window and were surprised to see a Robin bird in our garden, tugging furiously on a piece of string that was attached to one of the garden boxes. At first I thought she was stuck, then I realized she was trying to pull the string off the box.
The Robin wanted the string for her nest!
After I pointed out to Pip what we were seeing, we decided we would go outside and cut the string so the birdy could take it. I grabbed the scissors and we went outside and cut the string in a few pieces. We laid them on the ground where the bird was earlier, and then left to do our errands.
When we checked the garden later, the string was gone. And a thank you note was there in its place!
Okay, just kidding about the thank you note. But if the Robin could write I’m sure she would have left one! ;)
This event allowed for a lot of discussion between Pip and I about the birds. It also got me thinking how great it would be to help provide the birds with materials to build their nest. Before I knew it, we’d built a whole activity around the idea. Here are some suggestions:
- Go outside and listen for the birds. Do they have different songs? Can you mimic them, or make up your own?
- Go bird watching, from your window or from outside. How quiet can you be? Where do the birds like to play? Are there different color and size birds around? Older kids can keep a bird catalog, marking down how often they see a particular type of bird.
- Talk to your little one about where the birds live. Explain how they build nests for their eggs to hatch in.
- Watch a youtube video on birds building their nests. We liked this one of a Robin building a nest, as well as this one of baby Robins waiting for food.
- Draw a picture of a nest.
- Make your own nest! Go outside and gather scraps of trees, bushes, twigs, and grass. How do you weave the pieces together? What size and shape will it be? Does mud help it stick together?
- Help the birdies make a nest! It can take a lot of time for birds to make a nest, so they appreciate little piles of scraps tucked in nooks in your yard. Gather some twigs, dead leaves and dried grass and tuck them in a corner for the birds.
- Set out colorful nest material too! Visit the craft store or your craft box and cut up some yarn or strips of fabric or felt for the birds. The pieces should be 4-6″ long for ease of weaving. Hang the yarn or fabric from your deck or tuck it into bushes or tree branches. You can also provide feathers, strips of fabric or strings. Place them in a suet feeder or a mesh onion bag so they won’t blow away but the birds can remove them. Birds will also happily use non-colorful material too, such as hair (pet or human).
- Put up a birdhouse. Here are some great suggestionsfrom the NWF about buying or making and setting up a bird house.
- Be on the lookout! Can you spy any of your colorful nesting material in any bird nests? Go on a scavenger hunt to find bird egg shells. Look up: do you see a nest nearby?
- Put our a bird bath. Birds love to splash around in the water in the heat of the summer. Be sure to change the water regularly so it’s fresh for your lucky birds.
- Set up a bird feeder. There’s a wide range of feeders available, from hanging squirrel-proof ones to simple suet feeders that you can attach to a tree. Or maybe you’ll just throw some seed on the ground and watch. Your birds will spread the good news with their friends and you’ll have plenty of visitors before you know it.
Do you have any bird activities you’d like to share? Any other ideas for sharing the fun of birds with little ones?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Jardin, Our Garden y Learning to Reciclar — Florecita at Florecita Growing Up intertwines family traditions with gardening and green living in a way that engages her 7yr old, 4yr old and 2yr old.
- Nature Love — Alice Griffin Writings from the Wherever shares musings from a walk in the countryside with her young daughter and her hopes that by seeking out this closeness to nature, it will help her daughter to appreciate and care for the earth.
- Online Green Resources For Children (and Parents Too) — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama links to several great online resources which help children learn about the importance of treating mother earth with love and respect.
- Finding Nature in the City — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares simple ideas for celebrating nature with your children — even in the city.
- Get Green Quick: Goes Wrong — Megan at The Other Baby Blog writes humorously about her (failed) attempts to switch to natural cat litter.
- Celebrating the Birds — Carrie at Love Notes Mama shares a dozen bird-lovin’ ideas for you and your budding bird enthusiast.
- 10 Steps to Cleaner Indoor Air — Laura at Authentic Parenting gives a few simple tips t green up the air we breathe inside our homes.
- Are Big Families Really the “New Green”? — Michelle @ Grateful Moms of Many wonders how – and if – the tales our children hear influence their future
- Toddler and Preschoolers Learning To Go Green: Six Ideas That Foster Respect for the Earth — Mudpiemama from The Positive Parenting Connection shares six ideas for toddlers and preschoolers to learn about the importance of respecting the Earth.
- Taking Responsibility for Our Food — After noticing a disconnect regarding her children’s view of food, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children made it a goal for her family to work toward taking responsibility for their own food and to live more sustainably.