11+1 things to do with your children while at home

03 April 2020

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These past few weeks we are experiencing an unexpected and different daily routine, while staying home and practicing physical distancing, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This unusual, albeit temporary and necessary routine is difficult for all of us, let alone children. That's why we've put together a variety of activities, crafts, games, videos and documentaries to keep children busy and creative at home, while learning about the wonderful world of birds and nature.

We‘d be happy to see photos of the activities you try at home! Send us your photos to christia.alexandrou@birdlifecyprus.org.cy or share them on social media and tagging BirdLife Cyprus (on Facebook or Instagram), so we can see your posts.

1. Make bird masks

You can turn into the most impressive birds of Cyprus, by making your own paper bird masks. Download and print the below bird masks, which you can colour and make very easily. If you don’t have a printer at home, you can place a paper sheet on your computer’s screen and carefully trace with a pencil the bird’s outline.

If you want your mask to have the real colours of a species, you can search online or in books to see how these birds look like.

2. Bird colouring

Four impressive and colourful birds are waiting for you to colour them. Which one will you choose to colour: the funky Hoopoe, the tall Flamingo, the colourful Bee-eater or the small and unmistakable Kingfisher? Look for photos of these birds online or in books to see how they look like.

3. Make paper birds

Colour the Kingfisher, the Bee-eater, the Hoopoe and the Flamingo and make beautiful decorations on sticks or on a ribbon. What will you decorate with your new creations? Download them here.

4. Make a bird bath

Providing a bird bath for garden birds is a kind and considerate act, especially important during spring and summer when access to water is vital. It’s easy to make and you don’t need to consider yourself a master at DIY to make it - just follow our simple instructions here.

5. Make a nest box for garden birds

Not all birds make their nests on trees and bushes. Birds such as great tits, swifts and rollers need cavities, holes or eaves to nest and raise their families. Such spaces are far from abundant and putting up a nest box can be a great way for providing a home to these birds. Many bird species will readily take up nestboxes and building your own nestbox is a simple, fun and rewarding experience. There are many, many different designs and sizes of nestboxes, most specially designed for specific bird species. The following nestbox design is suitable for garden birds such as great tits and house sparrows. Let’s get to it! Instructions to make a nest box.

6. Interview an animal or a plant

Have you ever thought what a house sparrow, an ant, a rose or an olive tree would share with you if they could speak? What adventures could the cosmopolitan barn swallow tell you? Get out in the garden or your balcony, observe the animals and plants that live there, choose a bird, a bee, a tree that catches your eye and interview it. Since the animal or plant you'll choose can't speak to you, use your imagination to come up with the answers! You can use the questions below or think your own. Print or write the questions on a piece of paper or a notebook and the interview begins! Activity created by Claire Thompson.

7. Scavenger hunt at home

Even if you are staying home, you can still play a scavenger hunt to discover the birds, the insects and nature on your balcony or garden. You can play the scavenger hunt with your siblings and see who can find the most items. Download the scavenger hunt sheet.

8. 'Feathered Journeys' - Mobile Application

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to fly like a bird or if you would survive the migration journey of birds? What do you think would help you and what do you think would be a threat or an obstacle on this journey? Now, with the free mobile application (app) by BirdLife Cyprus ‘Feathered Journeys’ you can try your luck as a migratory bird and see whether you will manage to survive and complete this difficult journey. Available on both iOS and Android, our free app ‘Feathered Journeys’ introduces you to the birds of Cyprus, the wonder of migration and its challenges and allows you to report poaching and illegal bird trapping incidents. The app is suitable for children as well as adults and is available for free in Greek and English for both Android and iOS (mobile phones and tables). The app is also available for download for PCs here (excluding the reporting option).

9. Solve a crossword 

How well do you think you know birds? Test your knowledge by solving this crossword.

10. Watch the adventures of Ulysses the blackcap

If you want to learn about the adventures and dangers that migratory birds are facing during their long migratory journey, then you can watch the two amination movies starring Ulysses the blackcap (in Greek with English subtitles).

11. Watch our ‘Wings on the wind’ documentary

The documentary ‘Wings on the Wind’ is about birds, the wonder of migration and the threats they face. How did we learn about the wonder of bird migration? How long does it take? What difficulties do birds face on this journey? These are some of the questions that the 20-minute documentary deals with, while presenting impressive footage of natural landscapes and birds in Cyprus: from our endemic species, the Cyprus Wheatear and the Cyprus Warbler, to the unmistakeable Roller and the bright-coloured Bee-eater.


12. Participate in a drawing competition 

Can you draw a better bird picture than this? Then it’s time to take part in the Spring Alive international contest and have a chance to win cracking awards. You are asked to submit your handmade drawing or painting showing how we should observe birds and nature with accordance to guidelines provided in the framework of the 2020 Spring Alive leading theme: “How to be a good birdwatcher?" You can be inspired for your drawing by reading some tips on how to be a good birdwatcher here. To participate in the contest, entrants must be up to 16 years of age at the date of entry and must register their first bird sighting on www.springalive.net dated between 1st of February and 21st of June 2020. Your work must be submitted here by 21st of June 2020.

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