The other day I decided we should talk to someone from the Stanley Park Ecology Society* about better options for feeding the birds. Here are a few suggestions:
- Bits of fruit
- Defrosted frozen corn or peas
- Cracked corn
We decided to try oats, defrosted frozen peas, and lettuce, and to turn it into a bit of a "sensory activity." Each little boy had their own silver bowl and they were given the chance to scoop out their own oats and peas, and to shred their own pieces of lettuce. The oats were dry and soft, the peas were slimy and cool, and the lettuce was cool and fun to shred into bits.
|Checking out the goods. I actually let them do only one at a time; first oats, then peas, then lettuce. Toward the end it was a bit of mix, though.|
For the most part, the food that went over the best was the oats. This was a particularly delicious choice of the pigeons, who liked to peck at it on the pavement. Aias and Elliot were dumping it into the water and making sludge and the ducks and swans were sticking their heads down to gobble it up. The peas came in a close second, but they went largely ignored in the presence of oats. Finally, the ducks and pigeons turned their noses up to the lettuce, but the swans were really digging it.
|A swan munching on some lettuce|
- How to behave around "wild" animals
- How to be gentle, generous, and show empathy
- To be aware of if the animals are actually hungry or not (teaching them not to "force feed" the animals
- How to treat the animals kindly (don't chase them, don't scare them, don't move to quickly around them, don't attempt to touch them unless an adult says it's ok)
- What animals eat and where they sometimes live
- Which animals live in the city
- How to share
As for the food choices, I have to say; all the birds were a lot more enthusiastic all the times we brought Cheerios. It seemed funny to me that even birds seem to be carboholics who'd rather eat a baked good than a vegetable. Oh well. Next time we'll try cracked corn and barley.
|On our way out, we saw these gorgeous little baby geese, which was really exciting to the boys. We named the geese Aias and Elliot, of course ;)|
|A bit of sharing drama, toddler style.|
|They figured the sharing drama out very fast on their own, however!|
|He took the lettuce shredding very seriously!|
|Happy that finally SOMEONE is eating that shredded lettuce!|
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