Six nature-linked activities to dull the boredom

April 7, 2020 11:26 am

We hope that you and your families are staying safe and well during these uncertain times. Staying indoors all day can be difficult, especially if you enjoy being outside more! To show our support, we are going to be sharing some fun activities for you to do as a family (or even with your flatmates) to help bring nature to you.

1. Make a greener home!

Skill level: easy
Time: 10 minutes

Planting flowers or herbs in your home can help you reconnect with nature in an urban world. You don’t need to have green fingers for this activity.

a) Choose the variety and quantity of beans you want to grow.
b) Place a piece of clean cotton in a clean yoghurt pot, glass jar, water bottle or something similar. Moisten it, but do not soak as the beans won’t grow.
c) Place the beans above the cotton.
d) Whenever the cotton has become dry make sure to water the beans! After around three days you should see the beans starting to sprout.
e) When your beans start to grow tall, gently plant them in some soil for them to grow even taller!

2. Fruit bird feeders

Skill level: easy
Time: 10-20 minutes

Providing food is an easy way to make a real difference for the birds in your neighbourhood, especially with it being spring! It doesn’t matter if you have a garden, access to a roof or have a balcony, birds are going to appreciate you leaving them some tasty treats.

From fruit garlands hung with different fruits to a feeder made from an apple or half an orange they are a great way to prevent food waste. You could even do something simple and coat a pine cone with peanut butter and bird seed. They are great for giving birds fat and protein.

3. Birding from your window

Skill level: easy
Time: However long you like!

Marsh Harrier. Photo by Aron Tanti
Barn Swallow. Photo by Aron Tanti

Or from your roof! You can easily birdwatch from your home, especially at this time of year. We are in the middle of spring migration so lots of birds are going to be passing over Malta whilst they travel north from Africa. If you sit quietly for 10 minutes to look and listen for birds you might be surprised how many you will see and hear. The best time for this activity is in the mornings and evenings.

Why don’t you grab a piece of paper and crayons to draw what you’ve seen? Or make it competitive and have one person describe what they’ve seen and another person draw it to guess what it is!

4. Butterfly feeder

Skill level: easy
Time: 20 minutes

Butterflies are also currently migrating and they need food to continue on their way. They love to feed on flowers for the sweet nectar within them and are important pollinators for us. So why not thank these beautiful insects by adding a butterfly feeder to your outdoor space.

If you made more than one feeder, each with a different coloured flower you could monitor the feeders to see which butterflies are attracted to each!

5. Help birds see your window

Skill level: easy
Time: 10-20 minutes

Why not bring the colours of spring into your homes? Use crayons or paints to draw spring on your window (obviously on paper first). Create flowers, butterflies, rainbows and stick them to your window. With tissue paper you can create special light effects to bring something bright to your rooms.

All these on your windows will brighten up you house, but they will also help prevent birds from flying into your window and injuring themselves.

6. Bring the woodland to you!

Skill level: easy-moderate
Time: 30 minutes

Although Malta has very little woodland, there is nothing like a walk in Buskett or Foresta 2000 to uplift your mood. With us all being stuck inside for our own safety, why not create your own woodland with some recycled products! All you need is a cereal box, green and brown paint, green paper and some toilet roll (or kitchen roll for big trees).

  1. Paint or decorate your tree trunk (kitchen or toilet roll)
  2. Cut slits up the side of the trunks so you can slot branches in
  3. Get your creative side to flow and draw some branch shapes on your cereal box (don’t forget to paint them too)
  4. Slot your branches into the trunk
  5.  With the green paper (or plain paper that you’ve coloured in) create some leaves and glue them to your tree
  6. Now that’s one tree down, just a forest to go! Create as many trees as you would like in your forest. Why not create some birds to rest on some of the trees too!

If you would like more nature-related crafts, games or activities you can find them on this Google Drive link. And why not send us a picture of your families creations to education@birdlifemalta.org so we can show off some of the best to brighten up people’s days:)

By Abbie Ferrar, BirdLife Malta Education Officer