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Expand Your Child's World by Feeding Wild Birds

I've been looking to add something new to my family’s wintertime activities and I found it right in my backyard – feeding wild birds. February is national bird feeding month and due to the cold it is also the most difficult month for wild birds.

Make Bird Feeding a Fun Learning Experience

girl filling a bird feederFeeding wild birds is entertaining, inexpensive and educational. This is especially true for young children, who are naturally curious about anything that creeps, crawls or flies.

Getting started is as simple as mounting a bird feeder outside a window or in a tree. The best choices for filling your feeder are sunflower seeds, thistle, nuts, suet or millet.

Bird feeding provides a connection to nature. It is calming and peaceful to see the birds enjoy a feast and their songs are a reminder of spring.

When you watch birds with your child talk about what is happening. In addition to describing what you see, imagine the birds' lives and make up stories about where they'll go next or where they came from. Counting birds is also fun. Count them all, just the red ones or any grouping you like.

Another great activity is identifying the species of birds you see. We have a variety of books to help you identify wild birds. Identifying birds will introduce your child to new vocabulary. There are more than 400 different species of birds in Kansas! You and your child are welcome to join us and the Topeka Audubon Society for monthly bird walks.

Engage your child in feeding wild birds. Make bird feeders from a pinecone, toilet paper roll or other recycled objects. Or check out this cookbook that’s just for the birds. If you make refilling the bird feeder your child's special job, it will help teach empathy and responsibility.

I encourage you to take part in this activity year round. You’ll find birds, wherever you live.

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