Introducing your child to birding? Read our guide to bird watching for kids; learn the best kid binoculars & how to help your son or daughter identify birds.
Looking for a great way to introduce your children to the wonders of Mother Nature? Try bird watching for kids.
People have been fascinated with the daily lives of birds since time immemorial. The way they float so effortlessly through the air—that’s a kind of freedom we can only dream of. Birds are graceful, unique, mesmerizing and, yes, free.
Your kids will love keeping an eye on how they move, how they fly, and how they live. It’s a great way to engage their minds and their imaginations. And, who knows, you may grow to love it just as much as they do—if, that is, you don’t already.
Bird Watching for Kids: Identifying Birds
It may seem like such an adult activity: bird watching. There’s a kind of patience and attention to detail that’s associated with ornithology (the study of birds) that doesn’t seem to fit with kids’ behavior.
But believe it or not, there are kids all around the world who are absolutely enthralled with observing birds of all kinds.
Spying on and identifying birds doesn’t have to take all day. It’s as easy as stepping into your backyard and spending no more than fifteen minutes perusing the trees and sky with a pair of binoculars.
And if you really play your cards right, you can turn birding with your kids into a great art project, too.
Because kids may not be able to retain all the names of the birds they’re looking at, you can bring along some paper and crayons and have them draw whatever they see. Make sure they get the colors, patterns, and size close enough to refresh your memory, and then compare them with a bird guide when you get home. Doing so will make an outdoor adventure and coloring project into an educational experience.
Here are some great books you’ll want to own if you decide to try birdwatching with your children:
- Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds, by George H. Harrison
- Stokes Beginner Guide to Birds
- Our Yard is Full of Birds, by Anne Rockwell
Bird Watching for Kids: Kid Binoculars
A wonderful way to empower your kids on these adventures and give them a sense of ownership in what they do, is to give them their own pair of kid binoculars for birding.
There are a couple of different ways you can go with this:
- Simply buy a pair of decent birding binoculars made for adults. Most of these are very lightweight and highly durable, but they can be a bit expensive. This is probably the best idea for kids who are a bit older and will probably stick with the hobby for a while.
- Buy a pair of binoculars made especially for kids. There are a number of manufacturers who create children’s binoculars—Eagle Optics is one. These products are oftentimes cheaper than the adult versions and offer a design that’s a bit sturdier.
No matter which route you take, though, getting your kids binoculars that they can use on their own is a great way to share the experience with them.
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