I love going to cafes. Trouble is, usually the children get bored and I can only sit for a few minutes before needing to jump to attention, feed them, ‘discover’ with them, play with them, etcetera – meanwhile my drink is getting cold and the friend I’m meeting with (if they have children) is doing exactly the same thing. If they don’t have children they get bored pretty quickly themselves and wonder why they ever agreed to meet up! 🙂
The novelty wears off pretty fast.
So, one place I love going is the local Botanic Gardens, but they have no children’s play area or even activities available. Understandable given its not designed to be “family friendly” – it’s really the gluten free cheesecake I go for along with the hope I might be able to enjoy that in peace if there’s plenty of nature for my kids to look at and enjoy. No luck. So I created a Colouring in sheet (relevant to the gardens) for them and all visiting children to enjoy, in the hope their carers might get a small window of peace too! The manager of the cafe was happy to have them available there for visitors so I dropped them off a couple of days ago and thought I’d make them available here too, just incase your little munchkin is a bird lover or you’re interested in getting some done for your own cafe.
Here’s a preview but you can download the printable PDF here.
If you happen to educate your children at home, or want something which doesn’t include Disney characters to entertain them, this sort of activity could easily be used as an educational tool.
This project came along at a great time as one of my children had begun devouring nature documentaries (who doesn’t love David Attenborough?) and this tied in perfectly with her exploration of the natural world and the amazing creatures that live in it, as well as their dependence on a clean environment to live and thrive.
After finishing this poster and printing some for my kids, my eldest created her own nature game by lining up animal cards from the supermarket (if you lived in Australia with children over the last few years these were extremely popular!). She then set up our drawing paper and pencils, pens and erasers and directed me to choose which animal I’d like to draw, while she chose her own. This continued for the rest of the afternoon.
On two previous days she also followed my lead and searched for animals both on the iPad and in her books that she’d like to draw. And now, after one week, these creatures are stored in her memory and she draws them at random when creating books and picture presents for our friends and family.
~ Identifying birds in their native habitat
~ Imagination & excitement!
~ Fine motor skills
~ Decision making
~ Remembering facts specific to certain animals
~ Exposing the wildlife in their own neighbourhood
~ Exposure to exotic animals in a safe and information-rich environment
~ Observational drawing
~ Attention to detail
I hope you enjoy the colouring sheet 🙂
Here’s to cheesecake and bird watching!