With all of the modern technology of today parent’s are finding it to be more and more difficult to get kids out of the house and into nature. Most children these days would rather bury their faces in phones, i pads, or any electronic device than go outside and play in the way that previous generations did. Therefor, parents are being forced to get creative in order to get their kids interested in nature.
One approach that some parents have decided to take is to incorporate games based on nature that include natural components. One of the most popular choices has been birds. The sport or hobby of watching birds has been a long practiced tradition. There has been a great deal of research about the therapeutic properties that bird watching can offer as well.
However, it can sometimes be difficult to jump start a child’s interest in bird watching if they do no possess a previous interest in birds or the hobby itself. A great way to get them interested is to turn it into a game. One great example of a bird watching game that can be played by children or adults is bird watching bingo.
If you are interested in trying out a game of Bird Watching Bingo for yourself you can purchase or download the cards online. Or, for even more fun, you can make an arts and crafts project out of creating the cards with your children by cutting out the boards out of paper and randomly attaching pictures of the types of birds that are native to the area you will be watching. If the children are young, they are more likely to retain their interest if the game is easy enough for them to win so be sure to include some highly common species on the boards. Remember to leave the middle space as a free space on each card and mark it as such. It would be a good idea to laminate the cards if possible, or place them in a fitting Ziplock bag so that they will be reusable. Use a dry-erase marker to mark off the squares as needed.
Here are some basic directions for playing the game:
Distribute the Bird Bingo cards to the players. Explain that you will be going outside to look and listen for birds that live in your local area. As you hear and see the birds, have the players mark their boards. The first player to get an entire row horizontally, vertically or diagonally would call out “BIRDO.” You may also want to include some special patterns, like four corners, in order to keep things interesting.
If you would like to be able to play the game indoors due to poor weather, you can do so by visiting this website, which contains pictures and sound clips of birds which can be played at random so that each player can mark off their boards as they make a match.
That is all you need to begin getting children interested in getting outdoors and find a possible life-long hobby.