Teach your children how important it is to respect birds with this fun and enlightening game which you can play while visiting the beach!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- An open space, like on the beach or in the grass
- 3 large handfuls of sunflower seeds or beans
- A cup for each player
- Some friends!
- Draw a line in the sand defining a Safe Zone.
- Sprinkle the seeds onto the field about 15 feet from the Safe Zone.
- Explain to the kids that they’ll be pretending to be shorebirds trying to get enough food to help them grow strong enough to continue their journey to the Arctic. In this game, that means collecting at least 30 sunflower seeds!
- Give each player a cup and line them up on the Safe Zone line. When you say go, they must run out and pick up as many seeds as they can, but here’s the catch: shorebirds have small beaks so to get the true shorebird experience, all players can only use 2 fingers.
- In 10 seconds, call out that a dog is chasing them so they need to fly back to their Safe Zone. Have a little fun with it and chase the players! Ask the players to count their seeds. Did they get enough?
- Try again. 8 more seconds and someone on a bike thinks it’s fun to ride right through them to watch them frighten and fly up in the air. Back to the Safe Zone!
- Count their seeds. Did they get enough?
- One more chance! 6 more seconds and some children run up too close to them and scare them back to the Safe Zone.
- Count the seeds. Did they get enough?
- Now that all players have had the chance to think like a bird, start a discussion! Do you think it’d be easier or harder for shorebirds to get the food they need if they’re being disturbed by people and dogs? Birds need rest too; do you think they’d be able to get enough sleep with those disturbances? When you see a flock of birds on the beach, what are you gonna do?