You have probably noticed that the weather outside is becoming a bit more frosty. The critters of Nebraska feel this change more than we do. You may have observed an abundance of birds flying in the sky or that the neighborhood squirrels look extra plump this time of year. We aren’t the only ones feasting during the Holiday season. With the cold comes snow and with snow comes snow-days which leave you and your family trapped inside. Well you’re in luck, because Nebraska Game and Parks has a few fun ideas you can try with your family when staying home is the best option.
- Make Homemade Bird Feeders!
This is an easy craft you can make using what you already have around your house. This doesn’t have to be something you overthink. Let your creativity come out.
What you could use:
*ribbon, old shoe laces, or pipe cleaners
*bird seed or cereal from your cupboard
*gelatin or peanut butter
*pine cones, cookie cutters, hollowed out orange peels, plastic pop bottles, or anything you can find around your house to help keep the seed contained outside.
Once you have completed your bird feeders, find a good place outside to hang them. It is best if you can hang it near a window so you can encourage your kids to watch for bird visitors.
- Make a Bird Journal!
Add to the fun by creating a bird journal with your kids! Encourage them to draw the birds they see on a journal page. All you’ll need for this is, some construction paper, printer paper, and markers or crayons. I recommend buying or borrowing from the library the book, “Birds of Nebraska Field Guide” by Stan Tekiela to help your kids learn more about what birds they might see.
- Make a Hibernation Fort!
Make a fun activity by creating a pillow and blanket fort with your kids while teaching them about animals who hibernate to survive the cold winter. Hibernation is defined as a state of inactivity when an animal’s body temperature lowers, their breathing becomes slower, and their heart rate and metabolism also slow down. Some Nebraska animals that hibernate include striped skunks, prairie dogs and bats.
Allie Claypool, Outdoor Education Assistant