15 Outdoor Activities: Backyard Birds for Kids

15 Outdoor Activities: Backyard Birds for Kids

Enjoy exploring birds all year round with these fun outdoor activities & crafts!

We have always loved outdoor activities as a family and wintertime is no exception.

Birds enjoyable for the whole family and unlike so many other animals, they can easily be found thoughout the world -- whether you live in a city, out in the country or in the suburbs.

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Arctic Animals & Forest Animals: Comparing Animal Habitats

Animal habitats are a fascinating topic to discuss with kids! 

I'm sure you've been peppered with questions about where animals live and why --

"Where do all the animals go in winter?"

or

"Why can't we have rainforest animals live near us like Diego does?"

My kids are big fans of all the animals they would see in books and some of the favorite tv shows (one of the best kids' TV shows about habitats is the Wild Kratts!).  They both love going out to the backyard or park to do animal observations.  And once we started traveling to National Parks, there were even more amazing habitats to explore!

Today's project is a fun way to create some of your favorite animal habitats and then compare their similiarites and differences. 

And I LOVE the versitility of this project because it will work with ANY habitat!

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5 Awesome Activites at Your Local Nature Center

When I first started to stay home with the kids full-time, I knew that we HAD to get out of the house each week.

While I'll be the first to admit that there are so many fun ways to learn at home, kids quickly expand their understanding of the world if they have opportunities to visit new places.

That was always an easy task during the nice weather, but once lat Fall hit, it was more of a challenge to find fun places we could visit & explore (especially those that were in our budget and didn't involve a fast food location ;)

Then I came across a GEM!  We took a trip to our local nature center -- and we spent 3 hours there!  I know, we only expected it to be a short visit but there was just so much to do that I couldn't get the kids to agree they were done until they explored the whole darn place. 

And then we were hooked -- we found 3 more nature centers to visit that winter.  Since many centers have both indoor and outdoor spaces, they are a wonderful resource for the colder months.

 

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Animal Observation Activities: Tips for Teaching a Child to Focus & Listen

Today we're going to talk about how to help your child increase their attention span.

I know, we can all use practice with that, right?  It's the age we live in -- things move so fast and kids don't have the time they need to process their experiences. 

However, that processing time is crucial to their development! 

The article -- What Helps Kids Focus Better & Why They Need Help -- is a must read for any parent or educator!  Research has shown us that kids will learn best when they can focus and maintain attention to a task.  BUT that doesn't just come naturally to children -- we have to give them opportunities to practice and build this skill.

And one of the ways to do this is to inspire kids with a fun outdoor adventure!

There are a number of benefits to getting kids more time outside -- it increases creativity, reduces stress, allows them to build their imagination --

and gives them an opportunity to focus and expand their attention span!

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20 Owl Crafts for Kids to Make

You know how things happen in 3's?

Well this week -- 

1. we dropped our oldest off at college so now both kids are back in school,

2. found trees with their leaves changing 

3. the temperature last night dropped to 56 degrees!

Can you say ‘Fall is on the way’?!!

There’s something about the start of a new season that gets my creative juices flowing.  I’ve pulled out our Fun Things to Do in the Fall (print a free copy for your home too!) and started making plans for the things we look forward to doing in Autumn.

Family hikes and brunch with apple cider pancakes are right at the top of the list :)

With all these wonderful seasonal changes, I am definitely in the mood to get started on some Autumn themed crafts & activities too! 

Today's theme -- everything Owl!

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12 Amazing Citizen Scientist Projects for Kids

Happy Earth Day!

I love days like today -- everyone across the globe can celebrate together regardless of their location, religion or beliefs -- because we all love the planet we live on :)

We've already shared a great list of eco-friendly books & websites for kids and also have some easy ideas on how to involved kids in 'going green' at home so I wanted to share something different today.

Since celebrations like Earth Day are about protecting nature, oceans, clean air and all the other great stuff we sometimes take for granted, it's important to help our children find hands-on ways to experience what is happening to the world around us.

 

One of the best ways to offer kids real life opportunities is through Citizen Science Projects where they can learn firsthand what is happening in the world!

I know that the name 'citizen scientist' can sound kind of, well, super research-y but it's really not -- there are hundreds of great projects that any of us can be involved with no matter what our age or background. 

And today, I'm going to introduce you to a dozen family-friendly projects that you can do at home or in your own backyard while teaching the kids about nature, the environment and a little bit of science too!

 

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30 Life Cycle Activities for Animals & Insects

Explore the life cycles of animals and insects with these fun hands-on activities!

Did you catch our post on Exploring Animal Habitats earlier this year?

Kids just love to explore all the places that animals live and observe their behaviors.

And they love baby animals!

Heck, I love baby animals - they are so darn cute :)

And of course, we get all those wonderful questions --

"How do the animals have babies?"  

"Does the animal have eggs or a live baby?"

"Why does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly?"

There's that wonderful sense of curiosity coming to play again!

So today we're exploring life cycles for all types of animals with some great books, crafts and hands-on science activities!

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Exploring Animal Habitats: 40 Projects & Science Activities

The topic for this week's Dr. Seuss science activities for kids is animal habitats!

This is always a wonderful learning opportunity - it seems no matter what your age, watching animals is something we all enjoy.

While kids love to observe animals, they usually don't give much thought about how and where an animal lives until you begin to discuss the idea of 'habitats'.

Can a camel live in a forest?

Are there sharks in our local pond?

And why is it that polar bears and penguins will never meet since they both live in icy places?

So many great questions :)

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Groups of Animals: Science Printables for Kids

We always seem to have great animal encounters on our outings & vacations. 

And not just ONE animal.  Nope -- we seem to see large groups of animals. 

A few years ago, we saw moose and big horn sheep on a trip to the Rockies.  Then we got an close-up look at bison & elk during our family travels to South Dakota

And this summer, we swam with sea turtles – it was awesome!

I'm working on some cool sea turtle stuff that will be coming up this Spring because they are such beautiful animals.

During one of our sea turtle encounters, it was interesting to learn that a group of sea turtles is called a bale.  And it seems the kids are always keeping me on my toes -- “What do you call more than one…?”?

Like, what do you say when you see more than one moose?

"There's a group of Meeses?"

Ah..., no.

Since inquisitive minds want to know, we did a little research and created some free printable activities featurning our favorite marine and woodland animals.

 

Groups of Animals printable worksheet

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Family Volunteer Project: How Kids Can Help Local Animals during Adopt a Dog Month

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

 

Sometimes kids so want to make a difference in the world and do something AMAZING – yet their age can get in the way. 

Like many kids, my daughter is a HUGE animal lover. 

She's in  love with dolphins and whales (yet we live in the middle of the country).  She loves to pet sit for our neighbors (which we do together).  And she’s been asking to volunteer at an animal shelter for the last two years (but is not yet old enough based on their rules).

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Explore the World of Penguins: Facts & Activities

Kids will love learning with these penguin facts, activities & books -- you'll find TONS of information for a unit study or penguin project

Who loves penguins?! 

Those adorable and quirky birds are intriguing to so many of us. 

Our local zoo just opened it's new pengin exhibit so we are thrilled to be able to see the penguins up-close. Both of my kids adore marine animals (I think it must be hereditary as mama is also a big fan ;)

We visited over winter break and watched the penguins swim and dive - they sure can be mesmerizing creatures!

So in honor of our newest local residents, I thought I would share some of the books & resources we've used to explore penguins.

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Zoo Scavenger Hunt & Wild Animal Activities

Print off your free Zoo Scavenger Hunt and enjoy your next visit with the animals!

Are you a big fan of zoo visits? 

We love going to observe the animals and see their funny (and interesting) antics and activities. 

This week, we're highlighting ideas for Zoo Visits & Wild Animal Activities on the Discover & Explore linky. 

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The Life Cycle of a Butterfly: Kids Nature Activities

Explore the life cycle of a butterfly with these hands-on nature activities that can be done at home or in a classroom!

We had some wonderful crafts & activities shared on our Discover & Explore: Butterflies linky! 

For our butterfly feature post, I thought I would share some of the fun ideas that relate to each of the four phases of the life cycle of a butterfly. 

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Butterfly Activities for Kids

 

Welcome to the new Discover & Explore linky! 

The linky is hosted by Edventures with Kids and Fantastic Fun & Learning. 

Each week, we will feature a different theme and ask you to link up your kids activities, crafts, recipes, outings, booklists and family-friendly posts.

 

This week, we will Discover & Explore Butterflies!

Butterflies are popular with kids as they are easily spotted fluttering through the sky during the Spring, Summer & Fall.

If you're lucky, you might even live along one of their migration routes.

And before butterflies flutter, they take the form of caterpillars (which I'm sure the kids have caught and brought into the house to show you -- only to drop the poor things on the way in the door).

There are a number of ways to learn about butteflies both at home and while visiting a few really cool places!

 

butterfly activities for kids

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Let's Learn about Stingrays

We have been lucky enough to see stingrays at a number of zoos and aquariums over the past few years. 

It seems that many of us are newly fascinated by these beautiful marine animals and willing to get up close and personal with them at touch tanks and through large glass tunnels in aquariums.

But how much do we really know about stingrays? 

They can be very elusive in the wild, tending to hide in the sand and swim in deeper waters.

I was invited to attend a media event last year at a local aquarium and learned quite a bit about stingrays so I thought I would share some of the cool facts & details!

 

stingray facts for kids

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