The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch runs from 29th-31st January. To get involved, you need to choose one of those days to spend one hour counting and identifying the birds in your garden. The data you collect enables the RSBP to create a snapshot of bird numbers to monitor which birds are thriving and which are not.
Getting involved can be a great January mood booster for the whole family. Children will learn to identify birds and it might spark a lifelong interest in caring for nature and the environment.
Getting involved in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2021
Visit the RSPB website and sign up to receive details and a free bird guide.
It’s a good idea to invest in some children’s binoculars if you haven’t got any – they cost very little online.
Bird-themed arts and crafts
Feed children’s enthusiasm for birds with these easy ideas:
Attract more birds to your garden before the Big Garden Birdwatch (or any time of the year) with the RSPB’s bird cake recipe. This is not a project for children with nut allergies and all children need to be reminded that bird cake is not safe for them to eat.
Follow the RSPB’s instructions to make a birdfeeder from recycled materials.
You could make your own bird bath from terracotta pots and paint it with children. There are plenty of instructions online.
Find out what birds visit your garden when you’re not there by setting up a Birdcam. Birdcams cost £40 upwards.
Photography and painting
Encourage children to take photographs of garden birds. They could print a photograph of their favourite bird to paint or draw with water colour paints, crayons or chalks.
Edible birds’ nests
After spending an hour outside bird spotting, enjoy a hot chocolate and an edible bird’s nest together!
Birds nests are made by mixing melted chocolate with shredded wheat and allowing them to set (see Art and Soul’s delicious recipe). Once nests are set, place some mini eggs in the centre. Be aware that mini eggs are a choking hazard for young children, so cut them in half (as you would with grapes).
All you need are scraps of fabric (old clothes and bed linen will do), some craft wire and tape or glue to create your own feather art. Children’s imaginations are the limit.
For more bird-themed art ideas visit Danielle’s Place.
Here are some different ways to decorate eggs. These crafts are suitable for children of all ages.
Create a collage owl by sticking shapes cut from old newspapers and magazines onto a sheet of black or dark blue card.
Cut a light sheet of newspaper (with little print) in the shape of a body, a darker (more densely printed) head shaped piece, followed by black circles for the eyes, dark print for the claws and an orange/yellow print beak.
To get an idea type ‘owl newspaper collage’ into Google Images. You can use an owl template as a basis for the shapes – also printable from Google Images (‘owl template’).
Out and About
To find an RSPB reserve near you visit the RSPB’s website. As well as seeing stunning wildlife spectacles and learning about conservation, children can enjoy activities such as pond dipping, nest box building and face painting in the school holidays.
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
For a nearby wetlands centre see the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Children will have the chance to go inside bird hides and see rare species such as kingfishers in their natural wetland habitat. Some centres have tropical houses full of colourful and exotic species of plants and animals. There are wet play areas where children can have fun splashing, stomping and wading through the water.
The Raptor Foundation
Based in Cambridgeshire, the Raptor Foundation provides 24 hour care and rehabilitation for injured raptors. Children will experience the thrill of owls and other birds of prey flying closely over their heads – it’s an amazing experience.
Our tutors fire children’s interest in science and nature
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Whether your child finds an area of science difficult or they are an enthusiastic scientist with a thirst for learning more, we can help. We offer tailored one-to-one tuition for children from primary school up to A Level. To talk about your child’s requirements, please get in touch today: 01223 858 firstname.lastname@example.org