Nature Based Activities for the Holidays 🎄

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

As we all (hopefully) take some time to slow down over the holidays and spend some time in nature, here are some fun, engaging activities that the entire family will love, while encouraging you all to learn more about nature and connect with your natural environment - right at home. The best part? most of them you can accomplish at home with readily available materials! 

1. Repurpose your Christmas Tree 

As we all look to get rid of our Christmas trees (the real ones that is), there are a number of ways you can repurpose your tree for wildlife. Try setting it up in your backyard to act as shelter for birds and other wildlife. You can even make bird friendly ornaments to hang and watch them enjoy! 

Lastly, if you're feeling crafty, you can repurpose your tree into wreaths, candles, or coasters for your home. Here's an entire blog on fun and easy ways to repurpose your tree. 

Cardinal pair enjoying Bark Butter in a repurpose Christmas tree. Photo by Leanne Leblanc. 

American Tree Sparrow in repurposed Christmas tree with edible bird friendly ornament. 

2. Build a Snow Owl 

This one is equal parts fun and easy! Something different than your typical snowman, this doubles as both fun and functional - it's a bird feeder too. 

Snow Owl for the birds. Photo by Kristen Martyn. 

You can find step by step instructions on how to build your own here. 

3. Create Bark Butter Shapes and Place them on Trees

Creating Bark Butter shapes is an amazing activity to do with children, as it helps connect them to local biodiversity in an entertaining way. They can help make shapes and then tally which species show up. 

White Breasted Nuthatch and Downy Woodpecker checking out Bark Butter shapes.

For detailed instructions on how to create your own Bark Butter shapes, check out our full blog on it here. 

4. Participate in Project Feederwatch

Backyard birding brings many joys to our lives, and just simply watching and counting the birds can also help save themProject FeederWatch is a bird feeder survey that began in the 1970's at Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario with 500 participants across the province, and has since expanded to reach all across North American backyards with over 20 000 participants. This citizen science project run by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada is designed with us in mind providing each new participant with a Research Kit that includes complete instructions, a bird identification poster, wall calendar, and more. They've even launched a handy smartphone app (Apple | Android) making it easier than ever to enter and submit data & help birds right from your own backyard. If you want to learn more about Project Feederwatch and why you should participate, check out our full blog on the subject here. 

American Tree Sparrow eating out of a ground feeder. Photo by Leanne Leblanc. 

We hope you take the time to breathe deeply, slow down, and reap the mental benefits of immersing in nature and watching the birds this holiday season. 



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