I haven’t posted in a while about nature notebooks, and considering they’ve made a winter revival in our house I thought this post might be timely. One of my daughters is very keen about birding and diagramming, the other more into art and sketching. Winter birding; however, can rekindle a natural curiosity between said child and her nature notebook.
Our winter birding experiences can take on the appearance of the following. Firstly, get yourself a bird feeder and place it somewhere close to a window. It’s handy to be able to observe them without pulling out the binoculars. Secondly, have a handy field guide available to easily look up new and interesting birds that come to visit your feeder (a camera is also handy). Thirdly, watch and wait. If you build it, they will come.
Occasionally we will venture outdoors with our binoculars and partake on a birding field trip put on by the CRD. These are free and usually include a very knowledgeable guide, to teach us the art of observation. Often my daughters are quick to point out new birds on a family hike, or nature walk as well. Once we’ve identified the bird we are able to look up the species in our field guide at home and take this opportunity to diagram what we’ve seen. We’ve been using a field guide called Birds of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland which has proved easy for the kids to use by themselves, but are now ready for something with a little more depth. Still, that said, I would recommend this field guide for elementary aged children.
One of the best Christmas gifts my children have keenly taken to are the Professor Noggins card games. We have a few and one, obviously, on birds. My youngest daughter is the continual champion of this game and I highly recommend purchasing one in any area of study that interests your child. If is a fun way to fuel the natural interests in the children.
Do you have any birders in your homeschool? If so, why not share what you are doing or have done to explore birding in your homeschool or family. Include drawings or diagrams your child may have done in a sketch or nature notebook. I’ll include a Mr. Linky below and you can link from here directly to your site in order to share with our readers on a broader scale. In the meantime, happy birding!