My children, especially my eldest Lucas are all very much in love with the outdoors. We worked hard last year making our garden somewhere that they can all play out but this year I really wanted to focus on attracting some more wildlife. I’m a really big believer in children learning about the animals, plants and how to take care of our planet. I just love that Lucas takes such an interest in the world around him and we talk a lot about nature and the environment, even at this age it is good for children to learn how we can give nature a helping hand – good karma for the universe! When we are out and about we often talk about the animals and birds we see, you would be surprised how much you spot when you are actively looking. However our own garden is a little light on wildlife so that is the plan for this year. We want to encourage as many birds as we possibly can into our green space.
Luckily for us Sykes Cottages sent us the most fantastic little pack containing all sorts of goodies to attract birds to our garden. This is all part of their Give A Bird A Home Campaign which we were very eager to take part in. We live on a new build estate so it’s taken a while for the environment to establish; this spring I have noticed a wider range of birds in our own garden and around the estate so it is a great chance to introduce the boys to a little bird spotting!
We set to work on the DIY fat cake making kit and build your own bird feeder. Lucas was very involved in the fat cake making – first we melted some suet in a glass bowl over boiling water; when it was all liquid we added some bird seed. We popped the string into the mould to make a loop to hang the fat cake on then poured the suet mix into mould. We had a little left over that we poured into a silicone cake case – they were so easy to make and can’t have taken longer than five minutes. Afterwards we left them to set in the fridge them hung them out in the garden. They didn’t last long as we had a flock of starlings visit but they were so quick to make we’ll have some more ready in no time.
After that I tackled the build your own bird feeder but this was a little fiddly so I did it when little ones were in bed. Lucas was very excited to come down in the morning and see it ready to go so we stuck it to our patio doors and filled it with the feeder mix bird seed. Again there were a few starlings hovering so we are hoping it lasts long enough to see some more birds. I have explained to Lucas that he has to be quiet if we see a bird on it and he’ll be able to watch them eating up close.
On the way to school we took our bird identifying cards so we could do some bird spotting. Lucas was very good at spotting the birds and I was chief identifier. We did the same on the way home and I had set up a little activity for him when we got in. We chatted about the birds we had seen and what was in our garden for the birds.
He drew in his notebook and we are going to keep it going over the year to document the birds and nature we see. He has started off the first page by drawing a nest and eggs so it looks like our next step is to hang the nest box and learn about nesting birds. I’ve seen some great tips on Pinterest for attracting wildlife to your garden and I think we are going to make a hanger full of nesting material too.
Thank you to Sykes Cottages for inspiring us to make our garden bird friendly!