5 Ingenious Ways to Encourage Kids to Play Outside

outside activities for kids,

 

There are many parents who would to see their kids spend more time playing outside these days.  Modern children love their gadgets, but they must also  learn that the great outdoors is waiting to be discovered too.

So, how can you get them to spend more time outside? The following are some smart and simple ideas to try out.

Let Them Care for the Plants

Is there a chance that your little ones might be interested in caring for your plants?  Most children love to water plants, dig out weeds, and anything else to keep the plants healthy.

Many youngsters really enjoy looking after plants because it gives them a great feeling of responsibility. Why not try this out to see how much they enjoy doing it for a few days.

Eat Together Outside

Eating outside is something that most children enjoy doing when given a chance. Can you imagine how much fun they would have if you suggested all having lunch together out in the garden now and then?

By doing this you can introduce them to the pleasures of being outdoors. With a bit of luck they will then carry on playing out there once you have all finished eating.

Add Some Outdoor Toys

Possibly the simplest and most effective way of getting children to play outside is to add some outdoor toys in the garden for them. After all, they may simply not go outside because there is  nothing for them to do.

Some cool garden toys such as kids trampolines, balls, tennis nets and other exciting stuff will give them lots of new ways to have fun outside. You might even find  that some of the grownups in the family enjoy playing outside as well.

These toys will give them a terrific option when they have friends over or when you plan a birthday party for them at home.

Grow Vegetables

Another hobby that can get youngsters outside more often is growing vegetables. This is a wonderful activity that can bring the whole family benefits.  For example, healthier eating, lower shopping bills and the chance to live a more environmentally friendly way of life.

This is something that should be suggested rather than forcing them to do it. If they enjoy growing their vegetables then they will probably start to spend more time outside doing other things as well.

Get Some Pets

Some pets can also do a terrific job in getting the kids to stray outdoors more often. For example, a rabbit is the kind of pet that most youngster love to play with in the garden.

An alternative to getting your own pets could be to make your garden more bird or animal-friendly.   Encourage local wildlife to come and visit the property. The kids can then enjoy getting out to look for their little visitors.

There are many clever and practical ways of encouraging younger members of the family to put down their gadgets and head outside to play. Why not give a couple of these ideas a try and see how they work?

 

Katrina, is a proud mom of two gorgeous girls who loves writing about home improvement, decor and contributes regularly on various blogs and online publications like Mother2Motherblog.com

Tips to Attract Baltimore Orioles

I decided to become more diligent in feeding the birds through out the year.  I’m hoping to attract Baltimore Orioles this year. I’ve never seen an Oriole in my area, but I did a little research and it seem they like oranges and grape jelly. Orioles are beautiful birds.  They are Maryland’s state bird, and since I’m across the Maryland line, about 20 minutes, I’m thinking my chances of attracting them to my backyard are favorable.  Check out my other posts on backyard birds.

Oranges and grape jelly, oh what to do.  I love home made items, so I decided to make a feeder until I can find one that I like.  Oriole feeders are expensive, so it has to be just right. Until I find the perfect feeder, I decided to make a simple one out of a metal hanger.  My thinking, if I’m unsuccessful I’m only out a hanger and an orange.  To make this feeder you will need the following items.

  • wire hanger
  • 1 orange
  • yellow or orange ribbon
  • *grape jelly (optional)

Baltimore Orioles

 

attracting backyard birds



Bend your hanger until it looks like S.  Cut the end with a pair of wire cutters, and spread the 2 pieces apart.  You want to leave the hook, you will use it to hang the feeder.

Cut the orange into slices.  Cut a wedge out of each slice.  You will use the smaller pieces for spacers.  Alternate an orange slice and than a spacer.  You can smear grape jelly on the orange slices too.  Spread them apart as much as you can, so the bird can perch and enjoy the treat.

Tie on your ribbon and hang in a spot where you can bird watch.  Try placing the feeder where the bird can perch from another branch and reach the slices if you’re unable to get enough space between the slice.  You can rearrange them once you hang the feeder if necessary.  Refrigerate extra slices.  Slices should be checked every 2 – 3 days and changed if they dry out or start becoming moldy.  Wish me luck.

How To Attract Backyard Birds: My Cardinals

cardinals

The cardinal also known as “redbirds” is my state bird.  They were the mascot for our high school growing up, so I’ve always had an infinity toward them.  My backyard is full of them and as you can see they eat well.  The males are red with black back/tail feathers and are a standout anytime of the year, but breathtaking during the winter months against the snow.  During mating season, the brighter the better to the female cardinals.  Check out my other posts on backyard birds before you leave.

 

female Cardinals

 

The females have some red, but are mostly tan and gray.  They sing outside my bedroom window in the morning.  They are known to have up to 12 different songs.  While watching them, I’ve found them to be quite sociable.  They wait their turn at the feeder and interact well with other species.  Cardinals love mixed birdseed as well as the black oil sunflower seeds.  They also eat fruit, insects and sap from the trees.  I have yet to see them eat from the suet feeder.  The male is a gentleman.  The majority of the time he will perch on a branch while the female eats and than he takes his turn.

 

male Cardinals
Cardinals usually mate for life and they don’t migrate.  You can enjoy their brilliant color year round.  The male is responsible for feeding the female when she is incubating her eggs.  He guards the nest and ensure predators stay at bay.  Breeding season can last from March – September.  The female usually builds their nest in a dense bush that I have at the other end of my house.  I watch them from afar, the female will leave the nest and build elsewhere if she senses danger.  The male in the picture above is indulging on black oil sunflower seeds.  They usually arrive at the feeder with their mate, but I have seen both feed alone.
attracting Cardinals
If you’re a beginner bird watcher, the cardinal is one of the easiest backyard birds to attract.  They like the platform and tube feeders, so you can use one or the other.  They’re not picky eaters, so regular bird seed or black oil sunflower seeds will meet their needs.  Happy bird watching!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Bird Lovers

 

gift ideas for bird lovers

First, this post contains affiliate links.  If a purchase is made, I may be compensated.  All funds will be used to maintain Mother 2 Mother Blog.  Check out my other posts on backyard birds.

Second, the holidays are around the corner.  Have you started your holiday shopping?  If you have a bird watcher on your list, check out our gifts for bird lovers.  Next, gift baskets don’t have to be full of toiletries, candles, and food.  Here’s a few ideas that you can place in a gift basket for a bird lover:

 

 

gift ideas for bird lovers

 

 

  • Binoculars – Consequently, every bird watcher needs a pair of binoculars.  I purchased a pair of Bushnell Falcon’s binoculars from Amazon. I had a wonder time watching the American Gold Finch eat my sunflower seeds in the garden. They devoured every seed.  These binoculars are great for beginners.  Yet, they are getting good reviews from advanced watchers too.
  • A subscription to Birds and Blooms magazine – This is one of my favorite magazines. Each magazine contains articles filled with beautiful photos of birds, butterflies and flowers.  What bird lover wouldn’t want to curl under a cozy blanket this winter browsing the magazine for gardening and bird attracting ideas for the spring and summer.  Click on the link above, they’re offering a 2 year subscription for $15.00.
  • Birdhouses –  For this particular gift, I would suggest that you do a search to determine the backyard birds in the gift recipient’s area.  Make a selection based on your finding, different birds like different types of houses.  No need to purchase a bird house for a bird that doesn’t habitat in the recipient’s backyard.
  • Bird Feeders  – Another idea, check out your local Lowes, Tractor Supply or Home Depot for feeders.  Also, different birds like different feeders.  Buy according to the birds in the gift recipient’s area.
  • Gift Certificate – Great for purchasing seed, suet, a bird book or magazine subscription.
  • CD with bird calls – Bird calls are fun to listen to when gardening or working in the yard.  Great gift for beginners who are just learning the calls.
  • Book to identify backyard birds – Mine sure has come in handy.  I enjoy studying their habits and becoming familiar with the color and markings.  I bird watch from my bedroom window during the colder months while I’m watching TV or blogging.  It’s nice to flip through a book or Google to identify the birds.
  • Packs of sunflowers – Birds love them, they’re easy to grow, and they’re so pretty in a garden.
  • Coffee Mug  – Fill a coffee mug with the recipient’s state bird with a package of coffee or tea bags.
  • A Hummingbird Feeder and Nectar – Also, I would suggest a feeder with an ant guard they love the nectar too.  It may be difficult to find  a feeder this time of year in colder regions.  Try on-line if unsuccessful locally.

Last, place your gifts for the bird lover in a gift basket.  Furthermore, purchase a basket, filler, ribbon and holiday cellophane bags from the dollar store.  This material doesn’t have to be expensive, spend your money on the gifts.  Remember, put the larger items in the back and work forward with smaller items.  If you need to hold items in place, use clear packaging tape.  Finish off your gift with a twist tie to close the bag and a bow.  Now, you’re done and your bird lover will thank you for this great gift.

Finally, we hope you enjoyed our gift ideas for bird lovers.  You may also like:  5 Amazing Gifts From Your Garden.

 

How To Bring Backyard Birds To Your Feeder

backyard birds

                                                          

First, I’m a bird watcher!  Watching birds go by, my, my, my.  Since I’ve started gardening, I’ve starting noticing the birds more.  As a matter of fact, I’ve placed several feeders throughout the yard.  And I love watching the birds enjoy the feed.  My favorites are the Blue Jays and the American Gold Finch.  The Blue Jays love peanuts and the Gold Finch love sunflower seeds.  I find their colors striking.  However, the Gold Finch loses it brilliance and turns a dull yellow after summer.  I have other gardening tips and backyard bird posts.  Be sure to check them out.

Male American Gold Finch

 

                                                                      Carolina Chickadees

                                                                  Red-bellied Woodpecker

 

                                                                            House Finch

Next, I’m learning the identity of various birds as I go along.  This particular feeder is located outside my bedroom window.  So, this is where I blog and watch my favorite TV shows.  Sitting by the window makes it easy to get great shots while they’re feeding.  Placing a feeder in the yard is a great way to get your children off electronics and interested in the birds.  They can learn their calls, and watch them interact with each other.  Their habits are quite interesting too.

So, to draw backyard birds to my feeder, I fill it with combination of raw peanuts, wild birdseed, and black oil sunflower seeds.  I purchased the regular birdseed from the dollar store, the raw peanuts from Amazon and the sunflower seeds from Lowes.  Tractor Supply has great prices too.  Additionally, I grew sunflowers in the garden this year.  But, they didn’t stand a chance with the American Gold Finch.


Downy Woodpecker

 


Male Cardinal

                                                                                          Blue Jay

 

As a result of the feeder, the feasting starts around 7:00 am and doesn’t stop until sunset.  Because there were no sunflower seeds left to harvest.  Now, I fill the feeder every 2 – 3 days.  I will be adding a suet feeder to the feeding station during the winter.  The birds need the fat during the colder months to help keep them warm.

Finally, I hope that you found my post on backyard birds helpful.  Follow tips and you will have feathered friends in your backyard in no time.  Also, if you missed my post on making Birdseed Cookies, just click on this link.  It’s a fun activity for the kids this winter and they will be helping nature feed our feathered friends.  Do you have your children involved in nature?  What activities do they do?