This week the boys and I are focused on birds, so we started the week with a fun, outdoor art activity.
This is a subject that Keith and Gibbs have been interested in for a long time, so it was very easy to get them excited about today’s project. We have more birds, feeders, and birdhouses on our property than I can keep track of, and I often feel as though I live in a bird sanctuary. We don’t have traffic noise out here in the country, but we definitely have bird chirping noise outside our windows!
Since Keith is so interested in birds, Gibbs has been able to identify most of the birds at our feeders since he could talk. As an 18-month-old, one of his favorite books was Keith’s birding field guide! Now, even Casey can point to the Purple Martin house in our front yard and say “purple!”
Since we currently have eggs in most of the nests in our birdhouses, Keith and the boys love to check on the status of the “little ones” regularly. When Keith mentioned that he had a spare wooden birdhouse that hadn’t yet been put out, I knew exactly what we would do for our bird activity! And by the way, if you don’t happen to have spare birdhouses lying around your house, you can buy small, unfinished versions at craft stores like Michael’s for just $5-$10. Another great option!
Some boy scouts painted birdhouses and installed them on trees along the hiking trails at a local park. Whenever we walk through the woods, the kids love to find all of the brightly-colored boxes perched up in the trees. So when I told Gibbs that he would get to paint a birdhouse just like the boy scouts, he was very excited.
I set up this project outside on one of our picnic tables. I definitely did not want to worry about spilled paint in my house! Plus, the weather was beautiful.
Another three-year-old boy weird photo face!
I set out sponge shapes, acrylic paint in bowls, and paint brushes for my little artist to use.
He was ready to start painting!
When I asked him which color he wanted to use first, he chose “green. Because that’s my favorite.” At least he’s consistent. It’s the same reason his room is painted green, and his favorite clothes are all green.
He eventually moved on to the other colors as well, so our finished product looked a lot like an abstract art rainbow. He was very confident that some birds would love the paint job on this house so much that they would move right in!
We let the paint dry for a few days before we moved on to stage 2 of this project – the installation. And I actually had nothing to do with this part…Keith and Gibbs were in charge.
They started by drilling the base onto the bottom of the house. Power tools are always fun.
Gibbs was very concerned that we pick the right spot for his birdhouse. He quickly eliminated Keith’s first suggested spot because “it’s too close to the poison ivy.” Okay…
Finally, Gibbs (and Casey) were satisfied with the house’s address.
So then it was time to use the sledgehammer to pound the base of the pole into the ground.
Large hammers are always fun, too!
And as usual, Mom was very helpful on the sidelines (just snapping some pics)!
Casey was helpful as well. Like me, he supervised from a distance.
Gibbs also learned how to use a level for the first time…
and once the pole was completely in the ground, it was time to mount the house on top.
And while I know that Gibbs enjoyed this particular activity, I think someone else loved it even more!
I can happily report that Gibbs was right – the birds were very fond of his paint job. We installed it on a Friday evening and by Saturday my three-year-old informed me that we already had a family of tree swallows nesting inside!