• Plant a butterfly garden in a sunny location (five to six hours of
sun each day) sheltered from the wind. Butterflies need the sun to
warm them, but they won’t want to feed in an area where they are
constantly fighting the wind to stay on the plants. Place a few flat
stones in your sunny location so the butterflies can take a break
while warming up.
• Butterflies need water, just as we do. Keep a mud puddle damp
in a sunny location, or fill a bucket with sand and enough water to
make the sand moist.
• Do not use pesticides in your garden. Butterflies use two different
types of plants—those that provide nectar for the adults to eat
(nectar plant) and those that provide food for their offspring (host
plant). Find out which plant species are native to your area. To learn
more about butterfly gardening, visit www.butterflywebsite.com.
• Add a birdbath to your outdoor space. A birdbath is a strong
attraction for birds, especially during droughts. Birdbaths that offer
a reliable source of water in winter can add to this attraction. A
very shallow, gradually deepening birdbath that is safe from cats,
kept clean, and refreshed frequently with clean water to avoid
contamination and mosquitoes can attract many different species
of birds. Two inches of water in the center are all that is needed for
most backyard birds because they do not submerge their bodies,
only dip their wings to splash water on their backs. Elevation is
a common safety measure, providing a clear area around the
birdbath free from hidden predators. The birdbath will attract
more birds if it’s placed where a frightened bird can easily fly to an
overhanging limb or resting place if disturbed or attacked.
• On a nature walk, ask the children to collect flowers, leaves, and
grasses. Ask them to secure their treasures on the sticky side of a
seven-inch strip of masking tape. Then cover the sticky side of the
tape with the sticky side of another seven-inch strip of masking
tape. Make nature bracelets by gently wrapping the tape around
the children’s wrists and connecting the two ends with a small,
third piece of tape.
Suggestion Be sure to check for children who may be allergic to any of your
sensory play materials.
22 Chapter 1