Birding: 5 Fun Crafts And Activities For Families
You might be unfamiliar with “bird” used as a verb, in which case, you are probably wondering, “What is birding, and how do you bird?” Don’t worry; it will not require you to act or behave in any way like a bird. Birding is the sport of attracting birds to your lawn and enjoying the scenery! That’s right—it’s a sport you can do while sitting on a lawn chair and enjoying a drink. Sounds about perfect!
There are several different crafty methods of attracting birds to your yard, which make for a pretty fun afternoon activity with the kids. If you’re looking for some fun DIY projects that you can all enjoy together as a family, check out these five birding crafts and activities for families in Houston.
5 Birding Activities For Houston Families
It’s birding season, baby! Those winged wonders are out and about, searching for food and building nests for their little bird babies. Round up your youngsters and make it your mission to turn your yard into the most bird-friendly hangout in town. The birds will appreciate the gesture, and you’ll get to enjoy their pretty colors and cheerful songs as you sit out in the sunshine. Here are some easy family crafts for attracting birds to your yard:
Popsicle Stick Bird Feeders
A simple popsicle stick bird feeder is pretty easy to assemble—all you need is a bag of popsicle sticks, some craft glue, and string. As far as the design layout goes, you can get pretty creative! You can always look online for inspiration, but really, so long as it has a reservoir in the bottom that can hold birdseed, it should work fine. Avoid the temptation to paint them—sadly, bright colors and sparkles will actually make birds less likely to make use of your hard work.
After the glue has dried on your bird feeders and they’re nice and solid, you can fill your bird feeders with a seed mix and hang them up on a tree branch. If the squirrels seem to be hogging all the goods, you can pick up a birdseed mix with spices like cayenne pepper added in. Squirrels can’t stand the spice, but birds can’t detect it at all, so you won’t have to worry about any uninvited guests spoiling the dinner party.
Pine Cone Bird Treats
This craft is always a hit with the little ones, and while it can get a little bit messy, that’s half the fun! Plus, if you do it outside, the leftover birdseed mess will quickly get gobbled up by our feathered friends.
Start by gathering up pine cones—the bigger, the better. If there’s a park nearby with lots of trees, bring a bag along and go on a family mission to find as many pine cones as you can. Once you’ve got a good collection going, head home and fill up a bowl with some peanut butter. Use the natural stuff, and not the kind full of artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic to many animals.
Next, fill a shallow dish with birdseed and grab some butter knives. Spread the peanut butter all over the pine cones, then roll them in the birdseed so it sticks. Place them on a cookie sheet as you go along to eliminate mess while you continue coating more cones. Finally, tie a string around the pine cones and hang them up on the trees to give your bird friends a tasty snack!
Hanging Planter Birdbath
This is a cool way to combine container gardening and birding into one activity! Start by picking up an empty hanging planter and some “spiller” plants to add in. For the newbie gardeners out there, a spiller plant is a plant that grows in vines and will spill down the sides of the container instead of growing upwards.
Take an empty flower pot and place it upside down in the middle of the container. Next, fill the surrounding space with soil and add in your chosen plants, being careful not to cover the top of the upside-down pot. Once your plants are all in place, use carpenter’s glue to attach a dish that’s at least 1 ½ inches deep—enough to hold some water for the birds. Fill it up with water, and hang the basket somewhere in clear view so you can watch the birds stop in for a dip!
Succulent Planter Birdhouse
This craft is a little bit more complex, so if you’ve got older kids looking for a cool project to customize, this one will be a lot of fun. You’ll want to start with a flat-topped birdhouse—either buy a basic one from a craft store or see if you can make a DIY one with some repurposed wood.
If you don’t want to secure the birdhouse to a tree trunk or fence post with nails, you can instead drill two holes side-by-side in the back of the birdhouse and string some rope through them. This way, you can fasten the birdhouse to a post or tree without doing any damage with nails.
Next, you’ll want to attach a small, shallow planter on the roof of the birdhouse. Use carpenter’s glue so that it doesn’t fall apart. Fill the planter with some potting soil, and then load it up with an assortment of pretty succulents or other plants with shallow root systems. If you have teenagers at home, they’ll be eager to share their creations on Instagram!
Kick Back, Birdwatch, And Snap Some Pics!
Getting to watch all sorts of colorful birds come and go is the most rewarding part of birding crafts! Plus, this is a chance for you and the kids to brush up on your knowledge of local wildlife. Most kids can name more Pokémon species than they can name actual native species to their hometown, so this will be a worthwhile lesson in zoology. Grab a camera, try to snap as many pictures as you can, and then print them out and add them to an album. Grab some markers, and try your best to identify and label all the birds correctly!
Wanna know which birds to look out for in Houston? These are some familiar visitors you can expect to see in our neck of the woods:
- Red-Bellied Woodpeckers
- Mourning Doves
- Purple Martins
- Carolina Chickadees
- Summer Tanagers
- Indigo Buntings
- American Goldfinches
- Northern Cardinals
- Magnolia Warblers
We have all sorts of different bird seed blends available at Plants for All Seasons, plus some pre-assembled birdhouses and feeders, so feel free to swing by the shop! We also have curbside pickup or delivery available if you’d prefer, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and place an order. We’ll be happy to assist!