Kazakhstan and Caring for the Birds

Photo Jan 13, 8 44 51 AMIt is sometimes assumed that environmental care is a Western movement.  Yet for millions of people around the world, their very survival depends on the health of their land.

Stories abound from all corners of the earth about how people and animals, people and plants, people and the land, are intrinsically dependent on one another.  These are stories to tell aloud.  These are stories that inspire compassion.  Through these stories, even our littlest ones can learn simple ways to care for the earth and appreciate our dependence on one another.

This morning we opened up The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales to read a story from Kazakhstan.  We marked Kazakhstan on our reading map.  (And learned about mama’s 6-week trip there in college…oh, that beautiful place where the roses smelled like raspberries and the raspberries grew wild on mountain slopes!)  We read a beautiful tale of birds set free, a garden that flourished, and the relationships that can form between humans and creatures.

Each story in this collection concludes with a nature-themed activity.  “The Magic Garden” tale set in Kazakhstan invites children to make pinecone bird feeders.  I have to say, this is one of those activities I always see mentioned, but had just never actually done before.  I loved that our story gave us that push to get outside for a little bit on this chilly morning and try something new!

The concept is simple enough: you coat a pine-cone with something sticky like lard or peanut butter, then roll it around in a bowl of birdseed.  (Our pinecones happened to be extra prickly…which caused a few moments of toddler agony!)  Voila, munchies for the birds!  We used twine to hang our pinecone bird feeders from the dogwood in our front yard.

I wold love to hear what kinds of earth care activities you’ve tried with your little ones!

{ If you’re looking for your own copy of this beautiful book, you can check it out here: Barefoot Book of Earth Stories }



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