Setting up a hummingbird feeder with kids is a fun and educational activity that provides numerous benefits for the entire family. Not only does it encourage children to observe and appreciate nature, but it also teaches them about the importance of caring for our natural environment.
To start, you’ll need a hummingbird feeder and hummingbird food. Here is an easy, common recipe for homemade hummingbird food:
- Mix 1 part granulated white sugar with 4 parts boiling water until sugar is dissolved.
- Let cool to room temperature before filling your hummingbird feeder.
- Store any unused food in the fridge for up to two weeks.
The Smithsonian has an excellent, very detailed guide to making hummingbird food. If you are interested in more details, definitely check out their website!
Once you have your feeder and food, find a good spot to hang it up. Hummingbirds are attracted to bright colors, so choose a feeder with bright red or yellow accents. Hang it in a shaded area that is easy to see and observe.
Watching birds, in general, is an excellent way to introduce children to nature. It teaches them to appreciate and respect the natural world while also providing numerous opportunities to learn about different birds’ behavior and habits. Hummingbirds are particularly fascinating, with their tiny size and incredible speed.
An activity to do with kids while watching hummingbirds is to draw or sketch the birds they see. Have a nature journal, a few pencils, and some colored pencils or markers handy. This activity is not only fun but also encourages children to observe the bird’s physical characteristics and body movements closely. Younger children can draw simple shapes (circles, triangles) and patterns to recreate the bird’s body, while older children can try to capture the bird’s essence using various techniques like shading, hatching or cross-hatching.
Finally, it’s essential to remember that feeding hummingbirds is not just good for them, but also for us. According to the Audubon Society, hummingbirds are essential pollinators in our ecosystem. By providing them with food (especially during migration) we are helping to protect our planet’s biodiversity.
Setting up a hummingbird feeder with kids is a great way to encourage them to appreciate and learn about nature. It’s easy to do and provides numerous educational benefits. Watching the birds and drawing them is both fun and educational, helping children develop observation skills and an appreciation of the natural world. You can watch the birds from your house or from your yard depending on the weather and it will be something you all cherish for years to come!